Kinderzeche

Kinderzeche (Children's Party)

Third full week in July
Kinderzeche is a festival in Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria, Germany, to honor the children who saved the town during the Thirty Years' War of 1618-48. In 1632, according to legend, the Swedish commander, a Colonel Sperreuth, threatened destruction of the town (which endured eight sieges during the war). The town council was debating its response, when a gatekeeper's daughter named Lore proposed gathering a group of children together to appeal to Sperreuth. The council agreed to let her try. As the Swedish troops rode into town, the children sang, and Lore with her small band of children appeared before the commander, knelt, and asked his mercy. The commander's heart softened; he spared the town, and told the citizens, "Children are the rescuers of Dinkelsbühl. Always remember the debt of thanks you owe them."
The celebration today is a reenactment of the event, with participants (most of them Dinkelsbühl residents) in the costume of 17th-century town councilors and soldiers. Highlights of the festival include the parade of the Dinkelsbühl Boys' Band and a performance of a medieval sword dance, in which dancers stand on top of a pedestal of crossed blades. About 300,000 visitors attend the festival.
Dinkelsbühl is about 20 miles from Rothenburg-on-the-Tauber, Germany, which also commemorates an event of the Thirty Years' War with the Meistertrunk Pageant.
CONTACTS:
Dinkelsbuhl Touristik Service
Marktplatz
Dinkelsbuhl, D-91550 Germany
49-9851-902-40; fax: 49-9851-552-61-9
www.dinkelsbuehl.de/ISY/index.php?PHPSESSID=cedad8
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, Jul 16
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 137
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