Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Miners' Parades and Processions in Saxony
Mining, metallurgy and mining engineering have played an important role for economic and cultural development in Saxony. Related traditions are still alive today and contribute to the identity of their practitioners. Manufacture, maintenance and wearing of a miner’s habit are part of these traditions.
According to appearance, features and colors of the habit, a region, historical time and profession of Saxon mining can be distinguished. In the production of the various uniforms, historical traditions are considered, which are delivered in historical documents by the Saxon Mining Archive. The historical habit is worn for miners’ parades, which take place on different occasions since the 17th century, e.g. in honor of authorities or demonstration and enforcement of interests of miners’ associations. Most miners’ parades take place annually before and over Christmas. Roots to this lie partly in communal church going to mountain matins.
Special to Saxon miners’ parades is the participation of traditional miners’ music groups, whose origin also lies in miners’ traditions. They accompany the miners and are also dressed in historical uniforms. They play historical and new mountain marches according to the respective territories and mountain towns.
The “Sächsischer Landesverband der Bergmanns-, Hütten- und Knappenvereine“, founded in 1990, or one of its 63 member associations organizes the miners’ parades today. These associations encompass around 3200 members today.