There are no shortages of things to celebrate here in Berlin. You need not look far to find something to celebrate. Since being here I have or have known people who have celebrated things like:
Poetry – celebrating local poets by listening to their work
Music – celebrating the wonder of original songs at open mic nights
Clothes – rejoicing in the purchase of the 1 Euro sweater
The Sun – staking your claim at the park when the sun decides it wants to come out to play
Coffee – finding that place that has the “right” cup of joe
Mail – everyone loves opening letters from loved ones
These might be the everyday sort of celebrations. And then there is the type of celebration that comes around every 25 years. I was able to be a part of a celebration like that recently.
Berlin recently celebrated the 25th year of Mauerfall (the fall of the wall). To celebrate this and the past 25 years, the city released 8,000 balloons with messages attached to them. I had some friends who signed up to be release the balloons and I had the privilege of photographing them.
We lined the streets and waited until it was time to release the balloons. People passing by stopped to read the message that were written on the cards attached to the balloons. They asked questions like “How did you get picked to do this? How far do the balloons go? How many are there? Do they stay illuminated?” I was very glad that I was not a balloon-releaser because all of these were asked auf Deutsch.
There were four spots where the balloons were released from while the rest followed like dominos. So we kept looking in the distance until we saw the balloons going up into the sky. Then the crowd started to cheer.
It was a fun event and I think promoted a lot of community and conversation. I was glad to be there.
I knew that I would be stepping into a lot of history when moving to Berlin. I just didn’t realize I would be a part of it.
Enjoy this short video, Germans Celebrate the Fall of the Berlin Wall with Lights and Balloons, as the balloons are released: