Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Historical Play „The Children’s Feast“ (Kinderzeche) in Dinkelsbühl
The “Kinderzeche” in Dinkelsbühl (Bavaria) is a children's and Heimat festival, which goes back to a school festival organized for the first time in the 16th century. It includes an excursion of the school children outside the city gates to celebrate as well as a historical play, in which a local saga is enacted.
Facts & figures
Crucial date: in July
Domains: oral traditions and expressions; performing arts; social practices, rituals and festive events
Where to find: Dinkelsbühl (Bavaria)
This saga is about a time during the Thirty Years’ War when the children of Dinkelsbühl supposedly saved the city from the Swedes. It is linked to the siege of the city in 1632. The historical play brings the history of the city to life. Students of the grades 1-8 of all schools in Dinkelsbühl participate in it.
The “Kinderzeche” takes place annually on the weekends around the third Monday in July during which the historical play is performed seven times. On both Sundays as well as on Monday, a parade of historical groups and students of the grades 1-8 takes place in the city.
On Tuesday, in line with the festival’s origin as a children’s festival, all participating children receive a so-called “Dinkelsbühler Kinderzech-Gucke”, a bag filled with candy. In addition, historical children's and round dances are presented on several days. In order to be able to organize all this, preparations and rehearsals usually begin every year around Easter.
Dinkelsbühl is a city of parity. The historicization of the “Kinderzeche” around 1897 and the associated creation of the historical play gave the citizens, deeply divided in faith, the opportunity to celebrate together the history of the city within the framework of a Heimat festival regardless the different confessions.