Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Age comrade‘s festivities in Schwaebisch Gmuend
Since 1863, age comrades in the Swabian city of Schwaebisch Gmuend organize themselves to engage in social activities and festivities. Age comrades are those born in the same year. This event offers a great opportunity to get to know each other and to be part of the region’s culture.
Facts & figures
- Crucial date: every Saturday from the beginning of June until July
- Inscription: 2018
- Domains: social practices, rituals and festive events; forms of social self-organization; performing arts
- Where to find: Schwaebisch Gmuend
Umbrella organisation of the Age comrade’s associations of Schwaebisch Gmuend / Dachverband der Schwaebisch Gmuender Altersgenossenvereine
Every year, the 40-, 50-, 60-, 70- and 80-year-olds celebrate big parades on succeeding summer weekends. In honour of this occasion, men traditionally wear tailcoat and cylinder, whereas women wear festive robes. The parade takes place in the medieval streets of Schwaebisch Gmuend. The tradition is celebrated by entire families and all generations. Age comrades are organized in associations. In addition, there is a coordinating umbrella organization.
These “age comrades associations” create a sense of solidarity among each other. Regular meetings as well as easy ways of participation independent from any religious, cultural or professional differences entail a strong integrative and social force. This is also reflected in the city’s particular civic engagement. Therefore, contributors and organizers put a lot of emphasis on the importance of the age comrade’s festivities for future generations.
Beyond the identity-shaping effect of the tradition, the associations of the age comrades engage in voluntary work in many areas. They stand for hospitality and tolerance. The custom also helps to bring forth exchanges with twin cities across Europe.