A (Brothers) Grimm year for Germany tourism, plus Toronto's Ikea Monkey!
Snow White. Little Red Riding Hood. The Pied Piper. Cinderella. Hansel and Gretel.
Some of the best fairy tales ever told were from the Brothers Grimm. And Dec. 20th marks the 200th anniversary of the first edition of their stories under the title 'Children's and Household Tales.'
To celebrate, and celebrate they should given the iconic status of so many of these stories, Germany tourism is helping folks along the Fairy Tale Route.
The brothers have many associations with German locations, including Hanau, where they were born, and Steinau, where they lived as children. They studied in Marburg and served at the court of the Elector at Kassel.
There's an exhibition in Hesse, Germany slated for April 27 to Sept. 8. Called Expedition Grimm, it will be "devoted to the far-reaching impact and captivating lives of the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm," who had their works translated into 160 languages.
"But the brothers Grimm were not just collectors of fairy tales, according to the expedition website, www.grimm2013.de. They also left a substantial legacy as language researchers, law historians and politicians, and their German Grammar and German Dictionary laid the foundations for German language studies.
The exhibit will talk about their works and their families and also analyze such issues as which of their texts got them in trouble due to "brutal or improper" content, the Grimm tales being famous for intense realism and being nothing like what we see from the folks at Disney.
Germany also has created the German Fairytale Route, one of 200 such scenic routes in the country. The Fairytale Route runs for 600 kilometres and takes in such spots as Bremen, home to the Bremen Town Musicians, and, of course, Hamelin, home of the Pied Piper. There's also the Snow White village of Bad Wildungen-Bergfreiheit and the Little Red Riding Hood region between Alsfeld and Fritzlar.
2013 also marks the bicentenary of Richard Wagner, one of Germany's most famous composers. To celebrate, there will be festivals in Bayreuth, Bavara, a re-enactment of his famous festival meadow scene in Nuremberg (from The Mastersingers of Nuremberg), as well as several exhibitions in Leipzig, where he was born.
For more information on Germany travel, visit www.germany.travel/en/index.html.
I feel badly for the poor little guy, being left out in the cold in Toronto at an Ikea store. But he looks smashing in a sheepskin coat, don't you think?
The Internet and Twitter are ablaze with items about Toronto's Ikea Monkey, so much so that we oughta adopt the little tyke as a tourism ambassador. I mean, Banff had a famous squirrel a couple years ago. Why not a Toronto Ikea monkey?
I mentioned on Twitter earlier that we already had Sunday shopping and now we have Simian Shopping. We could do a Planet of the (Shopping) Apes retrospective at TIFF. Davy Jones died but we could bring in the rest of the Monkees for a marathon show at Massey hall.
Not only does the monkey look good, he's enjoying a big surge on Twitter (more than 2,200 followers as of 11:30 a.m.).
On top of that, I bet he's better at assembling Ikea furniture than I am....