Next on: July 18, 2021 (cancelled for 2020). Here’s one right out of the history books. The Kocherlball or "Cooks’ Ball" is an early morning dance-fest that takes place around the Chinese Tower in Munich’s Englischer Garten Park.

HATS: A quartet of ladies in traditional clothing enjoy breakfast at the Kocherlball. Photo: La inquieta mirada

Page from the past

Towards the end of the 19th century the dance took place pretty much every Sunday over summer.
The city’s servants, cooks, nannies and other minions would get up early to meet and dance around the tower from about 5am to 8am. This was often the only time the lower-classes could get off work because their masters were still asleep. However, in a foreshadowing of Footloose, a party-pooping mayor banned the dance in 1904 due to "lack of morality".

BAVARIANS!: Gentlemen in taditional lederhosen enjoy
the Kocherlball. Photo: La inquieta mirada

The ball is back

WAITING: A couple of women in traditional
Dirndl dresses look like they're waiting for something
to happen atthe Kocherlball. Photo: La inquieta mirada

The Kocherlball was revived in 1989 for the 200th anniversary of the Englischer Garten and now it's more popular than ever. Each year about 15,000 people flock to the tower to recreate the old days. Many dress up, either in much-loved modern Bavarian Lederhosen or Dirndl dresses, or in period costume.
Dances including the polka, waltz and a local jig called the Münchener Francaise are performed.
But not everyone comes to dance. Many are just there to enjoy the atmosphere and grab a bite to eat. This isn’t an event that attracts a lot of international tourists so there's a really authentic feel to it all.
All in all, it's a unique and seldom-experienced part of Munich history!

And a video...

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The Details

Location and directions Around the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) in the Englischer Garten.

Take the U3 or U6 to Universität. Walk east along Veterinär Strasse from Geschwister-Scholl-Platz at the university, into the park and turn left at the Monopteros (Greek temple on the hill).
The walk should take you about 15min. There’s also a bus that passes by the Chinese Tower (No.52) and connects to Münchener Freiheit U-Bahn station.
Takes place A SUnday in mid-July, from 6am to 10am. If it’s raining too much the ball is put back a week.
Website: Plenty more pics and videos of the Kocherlball are at ganz-muenchen.de

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