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Bremen's Ice Wager

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As the clock strikes noon, Bremen's traditional ice wager starts.

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Every year on January 6th, the Bremen Ice Wager takes place: The traditional custom of checking whether the Weser is flowing or frozen over - "of de Werser geiht or steiht".

Where & When

Every year on 6 January

At 12:00 noon

At the Punkendeich, Osterdeich

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© Michael Bahlo

Although the Weser hasn't frozen over for decades, the people of Bremen keep up the tradition of the ice bet every year on Epiphany Day: at 12 o'clock sharp, around 15 people dressed in black follow a 99-pound tailor to the "Punkendeich". The latter checks with a hot iron whether the Weser is "going or standing".
The famous bet, "Ieswett" in Low German, dates back to 1828 and is based on a meeting of 18 merchants. Since then, the event has been held almost annually on the Weser and is enjoyed by numerous onlookers.

You want to apply?

Exactly how you become an Ice Wager comrade and what the criteria are is probably one of Bremen's best-kept secrets. One thing is certain: no one applies by themselves.

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