Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Peace Festivals of Sennfeld and Gochsheim
The Peace Festivals in the municipalities of Sennfeld and Gochsheim date back to the regaining of imperial immediacy and the freedom to exercise the Protestant faith in 1649. The festivals take place at the same time as the parish fair. Since the 19th century descriptions of the festival have been passed on, in which singing, making music and preaching are described as main elements of the festival.
Facts & figures
Crucial date: 3rd Sunday in October
Domains: social practices, rituals and festive events
Where to find: Sennfeld and Gochsheim (Bavaria)
Since the 19th century descriptions of the festival have been passed on, in which singing, making music and preaching are described as main elements of the festival.
Today the festivities run for several days. In Sennfeld on Saturday of the parish fair “Planburschen” (boys) and men put up a 30 meter pine tree by hand in front of the parish church. On Sunday follow worship, speeches, and dances. At first, the “Planburschen” dance with children, then with their respective “Planmädchen” (girls) and finally all other festival participants are allowed on the dance floor.
Dressed in traditional and festive Franconian attire, people dance traditional circular dances like Waltz, Rhinelander, Schottische, and Dreher. Also Monday afternoon people dance until late into the night, this time dressed in frock-coat and topper. On Tuesday serenades (“Ständele”) are sung in front of the priest’s, the mayor’s and the “Planmädchen”’s houses. The day ends with a joint meal called “Eierschmalzessen”. With the so-called “Nachkirchweih” (after-parish-fair) on the following Saturday, the festival comes to an end. In Gochsheim the festival is only slightly different. Here “Planburschen” bring a typical “Kirchweihkuchen” (cake) and hang it up in public. Here also, it’s not common to wear Franconian attire.
The Peace Festivals on the occasion of the parish fairs are the main solemnities of the year in both municipalities; many locals come together and people who moved away return for the occasion. A functional village community is the most important factor in maintaining the “Friedensfeste”. Once strict rules for choosing the “Plan”-couples have now been somewhat relaxed, also regarding confession. The festivals are organized by different village associations. In recent years interest in the festival has increased again among the younger generation