July 13, 2022
The Rhine in Flames Festival: 10 Miles of Fun
By: Rachel Gyarmati
Were you aware that one of Europe’s largest and oldest fireworks displays happens in Germany every Summer? As self-professed German heritage celebrants, we would be doing a disservice not to share the epic show that is the Rhine in Flames Festival.
Much like the Fourth of July, the Rhine in Flames Festival began in the late 1700s and marks the celebration of government change with fireworks. In both countries, the fireworks for this day are planned, publicized, and are a hallmark of the Summer season.
Something else the United States shares with Germany is their love of gathering at Our Haus for any occasion! So, keep reading to learn more about the Rhine in Flames Festival and our Seasonal Bier which is perfect for festival season.
The Late 18th Century was Lit.
July 4, 1777, was the first organized fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day in America. The celebration took place in Philadelphia and would spark more significant celebrations as the United continued to maintain independence.
Since July 1777, Americans have planned their Summers around a night wonderment that only fireworks can give. Entire cities and regions will come together to hope for no rain and enjoy the show. We love to think that everyone stops at Hofbräuhaus after for a Seasonal Bier, but we cannot confirm that.
For those curious, this month’s Seasonal Bier is the “Pils” Pilsner (5.0% Alcohol by Vol.). The Bier is made with a generous helping of hops, giving it a beautiful golden color and a crisp, refreshing flavor. Just writing about it makes us dream about chilling out in the Biergarten with friends after the fireworks.
Twenty-one years before the United States lit up the sky for independence, Germany had their fireworks to light. While they hadn’t broken free from a world power, they had just gained an Electoral Prince. We assure you that this appointment was a huge deal then.
Rhein in Flammen (Rhine in Flames)
Currently, the government in Germany is a Federal, Parliamentary Republic with a Constitution. It has been this way since about 1949. About two hundred years before this, Germany fell under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, in the 1700s, Germany was still cut into smaller regions that the Holy Roman Empire would send an Electoral Prince out to govern.
The Electoral Prince was a person the Holy Roman Empire themselves elected, and their title was to be “Your Serene Highness.” To celebrate the election of Johann-Philipp von Walderdorff as an Electoral Prince, those living along the Rhine Valley and the Rhine River set off fireworks.
The story goes that every year the gathering grew and gained more traction until it became the most significant and oldest fireworks show in Europe. The size of the show and the crowd it draws has earned this gathering festival status.
It’s not just the size of the crowd that makes the Rhine in Flames Festival such a big deal.
- Every year nearly 250,000 people line the Rhine River as well as gather on boats that flow down the river.
- Several boats will hold fireworks that are released during their journey.
- The route for the festival is 17 kilometers…that’s over 10 miles!
It’s not just those who pack the ten-mile riverside and water route who get in on the fun. The castles and mansions that line the Rhine River will often use decorative lighting or set off fireworks of their own to become part of the celebration.
Again, we cannot confirm, but we like to think that those from Munich stop by the original Hofbräuhaus to have a pretzel. It only seems like the right thing to do!
Let the Good Times Roll
Fireworks have been delighting people for thousands of years. They allow those who know how to use them to express joy and celebration on a scale that can be seen by thousands at a time as they bring people together.
We are proud to share a heritage that starts traditions of community and celebration. With that celebratory and communal intention in mind, we invite you and yours to Our Haus. No matter your age or occasion, we have plenty of seating, food, and drink.
Make sure to enjoy fireworks, the weather, and of course, a great Bier with us this Summer. We’ll see you soon!
We strongly encourage those who enjoy fireworks to do so safely, legally, and responsibly, just like our Bier and spirits.