Sommerfest in Germany hits international high notes

August 16, 2006

LANGENHAIN, Germany — The presence of automobile number plates from every region of Germany and many neighboring countries was but one of the signs of success at this year's Baha'i Sommerfest, which drew more than 2,500 people in June for a full day program of music, dance, food, and devotions.

Held each year since 1995 on the grounds of the Baha'i House of Worship here, the Sommerfest, organized by the Baha'i community of Germany, aims to create an atmosphere of unity and fellowship, celebrating diversity and bringing together people from all over Europe.

"People who attend (the festival) feel spiritually uplifted. The National Spiritual Assembly is ever so glad about this festival and so grateful to the friends who put so much effort to its preparation each year because it provides a large forum for social and spiritual encounters under the shadow of the House of Worship," said Foad Kazemzadeh, secretary general of the Baha'i community of Germany.

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The program for the 25 June 2006 event included performances by a bluegrass band, a rap group, and the People's Theatre. In the afternoon there were devotional programs in the House of Worship featuring readings from the sacred scriptures of the world's religions. A highlight of the day was a performance by the 100-member local choir, "Stimmen Bahas," or "Voices of Baha."

Another highlight of the festival, which one participant described as a "gigantic picnic," were food stands offering cuisine from around the world, including Persian kebabs, Chinese vegetable dishes and, of course, local bratwurst sausage.