German Language Blog

Drachenfest Posted by on Sep 13, 2011 in Culture, Holidays, Sports, Traditions

Two weeks ago we had the chance to attend an event that is quite unusual. At least I didn´t see one like this before. It was called Drachenfest and it was all about Drachen (kites).


The event took place on a big Wiese (hayfield) where hundreds of people met to fly their kites. Unfortunately on the first day, there was absolutely no Wind (wind). That´s why people spent most of their time with waiting for a Briese (breeze), having a drink or just relaxing in the sun. But nevertheless, the hardcore kite fans tried to fly their kites all the time. Kids as well did everything to let their kites fly. Especially by running all the time, some of them were quite erfolgreich (successful).

A part of the program were kite Wettkämpfe (competitions). These competitions are called „Rokkaku“ and they have their origin in Japan (back in the 17th century). The rules are quite simple: The competitors are standing in al line and the kites are held by some subsidiaries. And they all have the same distance of Schnur (lace) rolled out.


At a signal they all start to fly their kites. But then they try to attack the other kites. The goal is to be the last one who has its kite up in the air. You can pull off the other kites by flying in their laces or even by cutting them. But this happens not too often I guess.


The end of the competition is normally a big Knoten (burl) of laces and the competitors have to deal with it half an hour until their laces are free again.

They use special kites for „Rokakku“ and it was quite fun to watch how they control (steuern) their kites becaus they have only one lace.

The next day there was more wind and the visitors as well as the promoters had their fun in showing their kites.

The Himmel (sky) was full of them and with a great view over the city and the surrounding scenery it was really a nice place to stay for a couple of hours. The people brought such a big variety of different kites of every shape, size and color. My favourite one was made of almost 100 little ones put together on one lace that was approx. 100 meters long! Amazing!


For me as a father, flying kites with the kids is always a good thing to do in autumn. But I didn´t know that there are clubs, competitors and a real kite crowd who takes it pretty serious. Well, every day there´s something new to learn 😉

Some vocabulary to this post:

der Drachen – kite
die Wiese – hayfield
der Wind – wind
die Brise – breeze
erfolgreich – successful
der Wettkampf – competition
die Schnur – lace
der Knoten – burl
steuern – to control
der Himmel – sky

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About the Author: jan

My name is Jan and I live in the south west of Germany. My profession is being a project manager at a company that creates digital media (first of all internet related things). This is my job since over a decade so I´m quite familiar with the web and its tools. Whereat today almost every school kid does. But that´s one of the main reasons why nowadays there are quasi no more limits in the internet and so it can be used for all imaginable types of things. For example learning languages! And that´s where we are at the moment. I first got in touch with Transparent Language when my family and I used to live in France a couple of years ago. I just had a break from work and by coincidence I produced some cultural videos in French. A few months later the whole blogging thing came up and I was lucky to be a part of it. So now my (second) job is to feed you with information, exercises, vocabulary, grammar and stories about Germany and German language. For being a passionate videographer I´m trying to do this more and more by videos. If you have any wishes or needs of topics that should be treated here, please don´t hesitate to contact me via a comment field. I´m open to your suggestions (as long as they are not too individual) and will try to satisfy your needs.


  1. EP:

    My kids thought for the longest time that those things really were “dragons” flying around up there.