In the Franconian town of Limmersdorf, they celebrate the founding of the Lindenkirche at the end of August each year, around St. Bartholomew’s Day. Veit Pöhlmann and couples known as “Plootzer” join in the fun
Veit Pöhlmann from the Lindenkirchweih
The focal point of this Franconian parish fair is a lime tree which is more than 300 years old. Four metres above the ground, and dressed in typical Franconian costumes, couples – known as “Plootzer” – dance on a wooden stage around a lime tree estimated to be 300 years old. The dancers are accompanied by a band, which creates a party atmosphere.
Four metres above the ground, and dressed in typical Franconian costumes, couples – known as “Plootzer” – dance on a wooden stage around a lime tree estimated to be 300 years old. They laugh as they spin round. It’s time for the Lindenkirchweih in Limmersdorf.
The dancers are accompanied by a band, which creates a party atmosphere. Locals and visitors celebrate in a way that people here have been doing for centuries. For generations the Parish Fair has been the main event of the year.
Tradition becomes cultural heritage
The Limmersdorfer Lindenkirchweih dates back to the year 1540 and the consecration of the church known as “Sankt Johannes der Täufer” (St. John the Baptist). “Our church took 30 years to build – an incredible achievement for such a small place as Limmersdorf.
It was only made possible through deep religious motivation. We want not only to remember these roots, but to reinforce them, especially in our modern times,” explains Veit Pöhlmann, First Chairman of the Association for the Preservation and Promotion of the Limmersdorfer Kirchweih Tradition.
The people of Limmerdorf are proud of their traditions, and justifiably so: their parish fair has been accorded intangible heritage status in the German register. “Now more people are getting involved in our customs and helping to preserve them – and that’s both good and important,” says the Chairman with obvious delight.
The place to be for the whole region
However, maintaining traditions involves a lot of hard work: Weeks or even months before the event, the Plootzer and their helpers start preparing for it. They build and decorate the festival area and devise an attractive programme for visitors.
The fair is a new adventure each time
Despite the fact that the ritual remains the same, the fair is a new adventure each time: The dancing pairs change from year to year and have a free hand in the form the dance will take. This tallies with the mayor’s approach: “So it’s your turn this year. Be sure to make a proper job of it, understood?” According to Veit Pöhlmann, this is probably the secret for the enduring popularity of the fair.
The youngsters ensure that history is preserved while still capturing the spirit of the times.
Limmersdorfer Kirchweih: Don’t just watch – join in
At the Limmersdorfer Kirchweih the regional delicacies are very popular with visitors, from Krenfleisch (meat and vegetables seasoned with horseradish) and Haxn (pigs’ knuckles) to Lachslabla (salmon) and Keesstanga (cheese straws). Amongst the variety of typical Franconian specialities everyone will find something to suit their taste – before finally plucking up courage to step out onto the dance floor.
For at the Limmersdorfer Lindenkirchweih, everyone can join in and help to ensure that this tradition will live on for centuries to come.
Dates for this year's Lindenkirchweih and more information (only in German)
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