Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The Forest Festival of Kamenz
The Kamenz Forest Festival has been celebrated for more than 300 years. The week-long school and home festival is always held around August 24. During the festival, the city of Kamenz is decorated with colourful pennants, flags and fir-green wreaths.
The highlight of the Forest Festival are the pageants of children and young people who parade through the town on Mondays and Thursdays dressed in white, with sashes and flower decorations. They are accompanied by brass band concerts, gymnastics performances and a procession of marksmen. The festival week is rounded off by church services, organ concerts and fireworks.
Festival for 50,000 people
Around 50,000 people visit the festival in the Saxon city every year. The Kamenz Forest Festival is the result of an effort of many people. Today, in addition to the more than 1,000 children and young people, booster clubs, the Forest Festival Committee, teachers and many other people are committed to keeping the tradition alive.
The Kamenz Forest Festival has an identity-forming effect for the local population. The participation of new residents is actively encouraged, and the Sorbian community is also involved. Their cultural traditions are also reflected in the flag decorations as well as in the wreath ribbons. The greeting of the head of the town, which is included in every Forstfest booklet, is also printed in both German and Sorbian. The cross-border cooperation with twin towns in Poland and the Czech Republic also contributes to the dynamic development of local customs.