Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Traditional Funfair of Fuerth ("Kaerwa")

Due to its approximately 900-year-old tradition, the traditional funfair of Fuerth ("Kaerwa") is one of the most important events in the Franconian calendar. Therefore, Franks strongly identify with the numerous customs and rituals associated with the festival. Today's practice also includes a harvest festival procession more than 100,000 visitors participate in.

Facts & figures

  • Crucial date: weekend after the 29th of September, the day of the Archangel Michael
  • Inscription: 2018
  • Domains: Social customs, rituals and festivals
  • Where to find: Franconia

Contact

City archives and museums
Dr. Martin Schramm
martin.schramm@fuerth.de
www.michaelis-kirchweih.de

The annual celebration of the traditional funfair of Fuerth or “Kaerwa” commemorates the inauguration of the St. Michael’s Church in the 12th century. The Kaerwa combines ancient traditions with contemporary cultural and social practices. Consequently, it is one of the largest and oldest folk festivals in Germany.

Numerous customs and rituals associated with the festival such as the proclamation of the commandment of peace or an ostentatious opening dance are maintained and passed on by a variety of associations and guilds. Despite its vast popularity, measures have been put into place to counteract an “over-commercialization” of the festival. Practicing communities are actively involved in the organization and implementation of the festival.

Up to 1.5 million visitors get the chance to attend diverse events in the course of twelve days. Meanwhile, many showmen present themselves. In addition to amusement offers, which have been an integral part of the Kaerwa for centuries, the religious origin of the festival is still notable. On the eve of the opening and on the day of the harvest festival procession, traditions such as ecumenical services in the St. Michael's Church are practised and they demonstrate awareness of the religious roots of this festival.

Publication

Wissen. Können. Weitergeben..
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2017

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