Archive for the ‘commemoration’ Category

Riding Stick Horses

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

I recently learned that there is a tradition of children riding stick horses in Osnabrück on October 25th, as though they were spreading news of the peace.  This has the wonderful German name of Steckenpferdreiten. The “Peace Rider” (Friedensreiter) is indeed a figure from the Peace of Westphalia, and the inspiration for the post horn that I use in this site’s logo.  The tradition of children’s re-enacting the peace riders dates from 1948, when they were celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia.  Although it is a modern festival, it does seem to owe something to history:  a similar event from 1650 at the Nuremberg Execution Diet is the inspiration.

According to Wikipedia, “The children “ride” towards the town hall of Osnabrück – in whose historic Friedenssaal (Hall of Peace) the 1648 peace treaty was signed.”  Of course, both the treaty of Münster and the treaty of Osnabrück were actually signed in Münster, so that their signing could be co-ordinated to occur simultaneously.  I suppose it would be a bit much to expect the children to “ride” over 30 miles to Münster!Everything Peace of Westphalia

Happy Peace of Westphalia Day!

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Today is the 371st anniversary of the signing. I celebrate every year with a Mazarin cake. I have no evidence that the Cardinal is associated with the cake, but it seems likely; and, besides, I can’t think of a more appropriate dessert to make. (Traditional Wespthalia foods like pumpernickel, ham, and blood sausage are not on the menu.)

I use the recipe here, modified by using a pre-made graham cracker crust instead of the shortbread crust it calls for. It’s a lot simpler, and it tastes a lot better. I also strongly recommend whipped cream on top.

Mazarin Cake