In the museum village of Gannahall, people get married just like 2,000 years ago

Nauen. It’s an incredibly diverse festival community gathered for a wedding in the historic village of Gannahall. In front of the tavern, a piglet rolls over an open fire, behind it the tops of white fabric tents stand out. Meanwhile, guests go wild in historic linen robes, simple leather shoes and floral decorations, as well as suits and shirts.

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Nico Naumann, the second president of the Semnonenbund association, together with his wife Saskia Naumann invited almost 100 guests to the wedding, including the traditional Semnonian wedding ritual. The association built the Gannahall Museum Village, is operating and constantly expanding it. Officially, they were both married that morning, of course also in historical robes that were sewn or paved entirely by hand by members of the association. “The recorder was clearly annoyed,” says Saskia Naumann, laughing.

The marriage on Gannahall was given right from the start

For them, however, it was clear from the outset that in this special way they would close the marriage bond. “There was no other way to celebrate because it wouldn’t be us,” says one bride. “Friends and family are really committed and everyone is very helpful, so a big compliment to everyone,” adds the groom, pointing to the traditional costumes and the village. Where there was only a meadow in the beginning, a small village of tents and long houses developed, including a forge, a bakery and even a small lake. Members of the association also grow fruit, vegetables and plants for dyeing textiles in the museum village, which is becoming more and more popular as an event venue for schools.

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The village is constantly developing thanks to the commitment of the club members.

One-third of the festival community wears the traditional costumes of the Semnons who lived in Havelland around 500 BC and 500 AD. Time travel takes visitors a good 2,000 years back when the Persians still ruled much of the Old World and the Roman Empire gradually expanded to its full sizes. Although in the so-called “Reenactment” is about recreating historical events as accurately as possible, there was no set dress code for wedding guests. “This would mean that some visitors would have to buy a completely new outfit, which would be quite expensive,” says Gesine Gärtner, president of the association.

Work and work at the club on Gannahall

“There are clubs that stick to it very strictly, and there is a hierarchy and a set of rules assigned to the costumes, which of course limits some things,” adds the studied fashion designer. However, as an association, you want to stay as open as possible and get started as easily as possible, adds Gärtner, who works in the online sector at a large mail order company. “These are completely different worlds, but somehow it all fits together very well,” he says about the contrast between work and work in the club, sipping from his own black-fired clay mug.

At the site of the ritual, there are ready-made vessels with honey wine, also known as mead.

At the site of the ritual, there are ready-made vessels with honey wine, also known as mead.

The bride herself is clearly excited shortly before the traditional wedding ceremony at the ritual site: many have no experience, I am curious how individuals deal with it and whether this bridging works, ”reveals Saskia Naumann.

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Semnonen as a role model

Accompanied by guitar and percussion music, the festival assembly marches in procession to the northern end of the site, where there is a circular ritual site surrounded by tall grass. Just before the arrival of the festival community, a stork slowly swims through the ritual site and as a well-known fortune-telling, it provides entertainment to wedding guests.

The ceremony is hosted by Rico Krüger (in the center), the first president of the Semnonenbund eV association.

The ceremony is hosted by Rico Krüger (in the center), the first president of the Semnonenbund eV association.

Rico Krüger, the first president of the Semnonenbund, as head of the village, conducts their marriage. When it first blows into a mighty horn and symbolically calls the gods from all sides to each other, cell phones and cameras should disappear in pockets as much as possible.

Deceptively real staging

During the ceremony, the groom has to split the log with one blow, and the bride then has to light a fire on the split log with a match. They both succeed. At the end of the ceremony, all guests can congratulate the newlyweds. A piece of bread delivered and a sip of “Met”, a kind of honey wine, should not be missing.

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When the bride and groom return to the village after congratulations, all the guests line up and create a roof with flowers, swords and hands under which the couple walks. The celebrations in the village last until late. The bride and groom and around 20 guests will spend the night in traditional tents on Gannahall. When you leave the historic village, only mobile toilets and a colorful children’s bouncy castle show that you are in the 21st century, not at the beginning of our era.

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