Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The Citizens’ Sons’ Parade of Lingen "The Kivelinge" from 1372
Every three years, Lingen hosts a historic market event and a big festival parade in honor of the citizens’ sons. Having its roots in the 14th century, the festival is prepared by hundreds of volunteers today. This tradition comprises dynamic and inclusive features. Anyone is welcome, regardless of social or cultural backgrounds.
Facts & figures
Crucial date: Every three years at Pentecost
Domains: Social practices, rituals and festive events; performing arts; oral traditions and expressions
Where to find: Lingen (Ems)
In 1372, according to an old story, attackers besieged the city of Lingen. The youngest and unmarried men in the city gathered and stepped in as a last resort. Not only did the citizen’s sons withstand the attacks, but they made the attackers flee. The young men from then on called themselves the "Kivelinge” (“little fighters”). They started celebrating a festival for all inhabitants of the city every three years.
The event shapes the identity of the city of Lingen and surrounding areas. The Kivelinge have committed themselves to the public spirit and are, therefore, of strong symbolic significance in the city of Lingen. The festivities kick off with the delivery of a gift to the citizenship, financed from the proceeds of the previous parade of the Kivelinge. This gesture indicates the charitable nature of the parade, whose festive events and proceeds are of benefit to the entire citizenry.
Many social and cultural initiatives in Lingen have emerged due to the Kivelinge and their community. Those initiatives stress the peculiarity of a tradition that requests a lot of inhabitants to give their time voluntarily. Throughout the year, hundreds of committed people prepare a festival anyone can participate in.