Germany's traditional threads

Culture

Spectacular colors

Everyone knows the lederhosen. But Germany's regions have a way richer history of traditional dress, as this bridal crown called "Schäppel" spectacularly demonstrates. These colorful folkloric regional outfits get to show off every year on "Trachtentag," an event organized by the German Traditional Costume Association. It is held this year in Homburg, from April 24 to 26.

Culture

Black Forest finery

Young women in the Black Forest village of Kirnbach may wear the traditional "Bollenhuten," or caps with red wool poms, after they are confirmed in the Catholic Church. They can wear these hats until they get married; afterwards they'll swap out the red poms for black ones. Each handmade hat requires about 2 kilograms (4 pounds) of wool. Three villages in the area still follow this tradition.

Culture

Festive minority

Sorbs are a Slavic minority who live in eastern Germany's Lusatian region. Most are Roman Catholic or Lutheran. Like their counterparts who descended from Germanic tribes, they break out traditional costume for special occasions. These Sorbian children are participating in the International Folklore Festival in the city of Bautzen.

Culture

Award-winning attire

Residents of the German island Föhr sport their dress at a press conference in Kiel. Their frocks were selected as "costume of the year" in 2012 by the German Traditional Costume Association. The association has more than 2 million members in Germany tasked with preserving traditional dress and folklore.

Culture

Fit for a queen

For Germans, the onset of asparagus season in April is reason enough to celebrate. In the city of Beelitz, about an hour south of Berlin, the ceremonial Asparagus Queen (center) is surrounded by her subjects in traditional Beelitz garb.

Culture

Ponies dress up, too

In Bavaria a man and his trusty steed sport traditional uniforms from the town of Traunstein. Each year on the Monday after Easter, locals participate in the George Ride to honor St. George, who was beheaded by a Roman officer for his Christian beliefs.

Culture

Election-day best

When it's time to cast votes, some Germans consider it a special occasion worthy of traditional costume. At this polling station in the state of Lower Saxony, the locals don their "Oesterten Tracht" as they elect a new state parliament. Voting day is always on a Sunday in Germany, so the clothes double as Sunday-best.

Culture

State pride

At the Rheinland-Palatinate Day festival each year, more than 300,000 revelers show up to celebrate their state and heritage. It's not uncommon for folks to wear their regional garb, like these ladies at last year's event.

Culture

Tradition gets a face-lift

Even centuries-old fashion can be revamped. Students at the University of Hanover spent two semesters re-imagining traditional German costume from the local Schaumburg region. Last fall they hosted a fashion show in the Bückeburg Palace to unveil their designs.

Culture

Flowers in their hair

Three women wait for the beginning of a parade at the Home and Traditional Costume Festival in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. Their dresses are typical of the Spreewald forest, about 100 kilometers south of Berlin.

Culture

Colorful nuptials

Brides from Apelern in Lower Saxony can wear a traditional bridal crown on their wedding day, like Silvia Grant (pictured). In this state alone, there are 40 to 50 different styles of traditional costume, which differ depending on the location.

Culture

Pomp and circumstance

What would a gallery of Germany's garb be without one mention of lederhosen? In Upper Bavaria more than 12,000 people belong to so-called shooting clubs. When a club celebrates an anniversary, members parade through town, like this one in Schliersee. Each of the 47 clubs has its own unique costume.

From colorful wedding crowns to the famous Bavarian lederhosen, Germany's amazing traditional attire gets to show off on "Trachtentag," an annual meeting organized by the German Traditional Costume Association.