Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
“Age comrade‘s festivities” in Schwäbisch Gmünd
Ever since 1863, “age comrades” meet in Schwäbisch Gmünd to engage in social activities and festivities. Age comrades are those born in the same year. This event offers a great opportunity to get to know each other and to be part of the region’s culture.
Facts & figures
- Crucial date: every Saturday from the beginning of June
- Inscription: 2018
- Domains: social customs, rituals and festivals; forms of social self-organization, performing arts
- Where to find: Schwäbisch Gmünd
Dachverband der Schwäbisch Gmünder Altersgenossenvereine
Every year, the 40-, 50-, 60-, 70- and 80-year-old celebrate a big parade. In honour of this occasion, men traditionally wear tailcoat and cylinder, whereas women wear festive robes. The parade takes place in the medieval streets of Schwäbisch Gmünd. The tradition is celebrated by entire families and all generations. Age comrades are organized in associations. In addition, there is a coordinating umbrella organization.
These “age comrades associations” create a sense of solidarity among each other. Regular meetings as well as easy ways of participation independent from any religious, cultural or professional differences entail a strong integrative and social force. This is also reflected in the city’s particular civic engagement. Therefore, contributors and organizers put a lot of emphasis on the importance of the age comrade’s festivities for future generations.
Beyond the identity-shaping effect of the tradition, the associations of the age comrades engage themselves in voluntary work in many areas. They stand for hospitality and tolerance. Activities of these associations are an integral part of civic engagement in the entire region. Furthermore, the custom helps to bring forth exchanges with twin cities across Europe.