This article originally appeared on VICE Germany.
As far as sensory experiences go, there’s nothing quite like a night at the fun fair, is there? The taste of candy floss; the scent of petrol, grass, and cigarette smoke; the sight of nauseous revellers stumbling off a rickety rides blaring out Europop into the evening sky – it’s a neon-soaked scene of adrenaline-fuelled excess and excitement.
For the past 55 years, Berliners have flocked to the southeastern district of Neukölln to celebrate May Day by hopping on a few rides and eating some sausage at the Maientage fair at Hasenheide park. It used to be the only one taking place in a public park, but the local government recently made the decision to move the fair because it takes the ground at Hasenheide too long to recover after the event.
Photographer Shirin Esione was there one last time to capture the essence of the fair. On its final night, she photographed people just after they’d hopped off rides – and shortly after a downpour swept over the fair. The result is a series of photos that capture the beautiful feeling of being a child again, even if it’s only for a brief moment.
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“That was the best rollercoaster so far. That was fun!” - Yoann
“I feel great. you only live once. fuck everything! Just try to make the most out of it and do what you're psyched about.” - Sbusiso.
Sara (left) and Sadia (right) enjoyed themselves, too. Sara even went as far as to describe it as "A never ending jump of joy!"
“My whole body felt numb and my legs were shaking. I knew right away that I couldn't do that again.” -Hisui.
“I'm having so much fun right now, I've lived in Berlin for a long time and didn't even know there was this fair. I'm happy to have got the chance to go one last time before it's over.” - Juliet.
"I fuckin' did it!" Moana (left) said. Alex (right) said that despite worrying he was about to shit himself, "Everything was oK."
“I think it's a shame it's ending after so many years. I've known the fair for 35 years and been here at least 30 times.” - Georg.