Oath Monday

Oath Monday

July
A centuries-old custom in Ulm, Germany, that combines politics and pageantry. Each year in July, the bürgermeister, or mayor, gives a policy speech in the market square, listens to the public discussions, and then, after the ringing of a bell, takes an oath swearing to stand "for rich and poor" in all matters "of the public weal."
Events then shift to the Danube River and a waterborne parade called the Nabada . Rafts and boats are decorated with tableaux of papier-mâchÉ figures that satirize local and regional politics. With them are floating bands and private boats. Later, back on land, a medieval pageant is presented.
The oath-taking began in 1397 when the city was on the verge of bankruptcy. The nobles, who had been running the city, agreed to sit down with representatives of the guilds—groups of merchants and craftsmen. At the close of the negotiations, the guilds had a majority on the city council, the citizens had the right to a hearing before major city decisions were made, and the Solemn Oath was established, ending the privileges of the aristocracy.
CONTACTS:
Tourist-Information Centre Ulm
Münsterplatz 50
Ulm, Baden-Wrttemburg 89073 Germany
49-731-161-28-30; fax: 49-731-161-16-41
www.tourismus.ulm.de/kurzinfos/gb-u_ulm.pdf
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