Changchun, China, 23 February 2014 – A century-old German festival comes to Changchun with a group of passionate people for the 10th year on a common goal: health and charity. This year’s mission is to set up a student’s canteen for the Xin Jia School in Yitong County.
For 10 years, thousands of people of different nationalities have walked with Shangri-La Hotel, Changchun through Moon Lake and Bei Hu Park, raising more than Rmb150,000 for various poverty alleviation projects.
Shangri-La Hotel, Changchun organised the 10th Charity Cabbage Walk on 23 February 2014. About 300 guests from home and abroad took part in the activity. The participants walked with hotel representatives through the naturally peaceful surroundings of Beihu Wetland Park and enjoy the typical southern Chinese garden scenery. During the two-hour walk, guests breathe in the fresh air and indulge in an outdoor coffee break on the snowy ground. The hotel’s banquet team menu served German hot wine, hamburgers and sandwiches.
After the relaxing walk, German-style cabbage and sausages were prepared for the guests at the 10th Charity Cabbage Walk Celebration Dinner in the ballroom. To raise more funds for Xinjia School, the hotel arranged a charity auction highlighting the handwork from Xinjia School students and the hotel’s signature products and services.
Following the 1st Charity Cabbage Walk in February 2005, Shangri-La Hotel, Changchun has successfully organised nine Charity Cabbage Walks between 2006 and 2013. These activities have gained support and praise from all sectors of society. By organising this activity, the hotel has not only created a platform for foreign expatriates living in Changchun to communicate with each other, but also made it possible for German people to celebrate their unique festival in Changchun. More importantly, they can take part in charitable activities in Changchun, giving new meaning to this traditional German festival.
The Kohlfahrt is one of the traditions in the northern region of Germany, which grows the lion’s share of Europe’s cabbage. In January, just after the first frost, the woodlands and heath around such German cities as Hannover, Bremen and Oldenburg fill with shadowy cabbage fanciers, taking turns to haul a handcart that clinks suspiciously as it goes over the bumps. At the last harvest of the cabbage, they hold a Kohlfahrt – a cabbage walk – to celebrate the great harvest each year.
The cabbage walk ends with a Grünkohlessen – a cabbage dinner – at the hotel or restaurant that provided the handcart. On the menu is Grünkohl and pinkel, along with smoked ham and potatoes.
Green cabbage has also reached certain fame through its presence in the famous annual dinner, the “Bremer Schaffermahlzeit”, held in the City Hall of Bremen every February since 1545. Green cabbage is served as the fourth course in the six-course dinner.
Another interesting fact surrounding this dinner and German traditions is that, historically since the 16th century, only men were allowed to participate in this meal. In 2006, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the first woman invited and allowed to participate in this occasion.