Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Lime Tree Fair Limmersdorf
The lime-tree fair of the village of Limmersdorf embodies a centuries-old and originally widespread custom that is today only cultivated in a few places in Upper Franconia (Bavaria) and Thuringia. At the focus of a lime-tree fair stands the often ancient dance lime tree of the municipality in question.
Facts & figures
Crucial date: in the end of August
Domains: social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practice concerning nature and the universe
Where to find: Limmersdorf (Bavaria)
Festively dressed “Kerwaburschen” (young lads) dance with their “Kerwasmadla” (young maidens) round dances and waltzes accompanied by dance-band music on a podium in the crown of the tree. Genuine dance lime trees are distinguished by a precisely pruned growth of their branches. The branches are pruned and cropped in such a way that they form a “tree hall” and are able to support a platform for dancing upon.
Dance lime trees are thus not only a natural monument but at the same time a historic monument that fulfils a cultural purpose. The dance lime tree in Limmersdorf has been danced upon without interruption since at least 1729. The lime tree fair is a lively tradition and one that plays a decisive role in charactering the village.
It is the undisputed social highlight of the life of the village.
Almost every inhabitant of the village is involved in the preparations for the festival which take up the whole year. A number of associations, sponsorship circles and private persons ensure that this cultural form is passed on to future generations.