Printer Friendly Version

BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

Oktoberfest Hearts - Gingerbread Cookie Hearts

Octoberfest hearts are one of the most popular traditions among all age groups at the Oktoberfest in Munich. As much a part of the celebrations as a Mass filled with strong specially brewed "Wiesn" beer, or the traditional halbe Hendl - spit roasted buttered chicken.

Millions of the famous heart shaped German gingerbread cookies, decorated with all types of "mottoes", are sold every year...although trying to eat them is not always recommended.

Probably partly due to the independent character of Bavaria and Bavarians, some still have not quite accepted being a part of Germany, Munich's Oktoberfest has almost, but not quite, avoided becoming a worldwide marketing event, and retains much of its Bavarian individuality.

That is one reason why, in the over 100 Oktoberfest gingerbread cookie stands scattered around the festival grounds, most mottoes on the Lebkuchen, German gingerbread, heart shapes are in Bairisch; the local dialect.

Messages range from:

Ozapt'is - It's tapped
Ich Liebe Dich I Love You
Glueckspilz Lucky Toadstool
Held Hero
Zauberbaer literally Magic Bear
Mein Traumprinz - Prince Charming
and like "Hero" the last two are normally aimed at a "man" in someone's life even if he still in diapers.


Weil I Di mog - Because I like you
Meiner Kuschelmaus - my snuggle-mouse
Spatzl - little sparrow...............the probably far less welcome
Es ist Aus It is over...............perhaps followed by
Ich bin Single - I am single..... or just the more neutral
Greuss vom Oktoberfest - to show someone you were thinking of them although they were not there.

There was an old folklore tradition that giving sweets with wishes written on them served two purposes:

One - the wish or thought was read and the message "absorbed"
Two - the letters were eaten and this added to the strength of whatever had been written.

Although with some of the bakers simply admiring the "Lebkuchenherzen" can be a more positive experience than chewing your way through them.

Nevertheless during Oktoberfest there is a yearly average of 50 special orders for marriage proposals to be iced onto gingerbread hearts at each cookie stall.

Colorfully decorated and strung with ribbon, so despite officially being a favorite German cookie they can be easily worn and their messages seen, Oktoberfest Herzen come in all sizes from small to large and heavy, and to leave the Munich Octoberfest without one is almost a crime.

One of the most often seen sayings, WEIL I DI MOG, "Because I Like You", is also a "toe tapping" song by the group RELAX that is sung in "Bairisch", Bavarian dialect. It is often heard echoing around the beer tents, and HERE is a video, so you can read the lyrics while at the same time listening to their rather "special" pronunciation.

And this is the translation:


For you I'll give my shirt
And my last penny
Because I like you

You turned my world upside-down
So that everything's too late for me now
Because I like you

I'll steal the Eiffel tower for you
And wait for you in the biggest storm
For the whole day

If I talk to you at the telephone
I'll put your picture next to me
Because I like you

You made me feel dizzy
I don't know things anymore
I only think of you day and night
And if I finally see you in my arms
I turn crazy
When you then tell me
That you like me

I don't wanna lose you one day
So I tell you every day
That I like you

And if you are mad at me sometime
I will be in front of your door with roses
Because I like you

If you want me to I'll put on a suit
And a tie too
Every day

You make me go crazy
If it needs to be we'll go to the register office
Because I like you


You make me feel dizzy......

WEIL I DI MOG Oktoberfest in Munich.

In its way it is a "super" version of a traditional harvest festival: with Bavarian hospitality, beer, "meaningful" mottoes on gingerbread cookies, vast amounts of calorific food, continuous singing and fun...and despite the commercialization of the last years this remains the real heart of an Oktoberfest in Munich.

German Culture Site @ BellaOnline
View This Article in Regular Layout

Content copyright © 2013 by Francine McKenna-Klein. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Francine McKenna-Klein. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Francine McKenna-Klein for details.

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor