The idea comes originally from Paris. Wikipedia calls it an "early instance" of a "smart mob", saying that "the Dîner en blanc phenomenon [...] has taken place annually in Paris, France, since 1988, for one night around the end of June. The invited guests wear only white clothes and gather at a chosen spot, knowledge of which they have only a short time beforehand. They bring along food, drink, chairs and a table and the whole group then gathers to have a meal, after which they disperse. [...] It is not a normal cultural event because it is not advertised and only those who have received an invite attend - information on the chosen location is transferred by text message or more recently Twitter. The number of people attending has grown, in 2011, to over 10,000. Dîner en blanc would be considered a smart mob rather than a flash mob, because the event lasts for several hours."
For the third time this year, my home town Ludwigsburg has held its own version of a Dîner en blanc. It can't be considered a smart mob, because the event was advertised beforehand, and anyone could attend, with or without invitiation. The key elements were there, though: People came (largely) dressed in white, and while tables (decked in white and with beautiful white flowers in white vases) and chairs were set up along the street by the organizers, guests were welcome to bring their own food and drink. For those who didn't bring anything, there was of course a wide range of food and drink on offer. Everything from paella to oysters could be had, and all sorts of (preferably white) wines, champagne, prosecco and cocktails were available. Even beer, although it wasn't really the beery type of occasion.
My Mum and I decided to go, and spent a very nice evening there. Admittedly, I wasn't dressed entirely in white. I do not own a white dress or skirt, and the only white shorts I have are not really suitable for a night out on the town.
The drink we are having here is called Belsazar. It contains Vermouth, cherry tonic and fresh mint, and we found it very refreshing with a bitter-sweet taste.
Later, we had a look at what was going on on the adjacent market square. I noticed that the two clocks on the church are not in sync. Somehow, though, I didn't mind; I just briefly wondered which of the clocks would give the bells the command to ring the hours.
Dusk fell, and we walked home at a very leisurely pace. At around 9:30 pm, I was back home. We definitely want to go again next year - maybe I'll find a nice white dress or skirt or pair of trousers until then.