Walberlafest: fair and spring festival at the same time

Walberlafest: fair and spring festival at the same time

The walberlafest is in – and that already for over 750 years. As the local historian ernst deuerlein wrote in the 1950s, a "fair-like festival" was held on walburgis day as early as 1360 on the ehrenburg instead. And even then it was said that the festival in honor of saint walburga was an "old tradition" must be much older. The date 1. May remained in deficit until the beginning of the 20. Century fix, then the festival was moved to the first weekend in may. The event has remained the same, so that after the kick-off on friday, there will also be a hustle and bustle on saturday and sunday on the mountain.

Already in the early morning

In reports from the 18. In the nineteenth century it is said that the fair begins early in the morning and that an extraordinarily large crowd gathers on the walberla. Many thousands of visitors came, and quite a few were already up on walburgisnacht to enjoy the 1. May to see the sunrise.
In the walburgis chapel – gothic core, baroque reconstruction – took place on the 1. May be a mass held. With the relocation of the festival, the church service has also been moved to sunday: at 9 a.M.30 o'clock is on 5. May also this year a liturgy on the walberla.
The word fair also referred to the carnival. All kinds of commodities have always been offered for sale: household goods, dishes, pots, jugs, shoes, hats, leather goods, farming equipment and tools. At the booths and stands were sold as a specialty subwood roots – today better known as licorice.

As early as 1822 with carousel

As early as 1822, the first merry-go-round was turning. People flocked up from the surrounding towns, from forchheim, from all over the region. For life provided in the 19. In the nineteenth century, it was above all students from erlangen who discovered the mountain for themselves. The construction of the railroad line into the wiesent valley also put a strain on tourism. In the 1930s there was talk of 50,000 visitors.
Forchheim city archivist rainer kestler was in the thick of it as a teenager in the 1950s. He reported: "at 6 o'clock there was a mass in forchheim, after that we walked up. Who did not pay attention, got his first sunburn on the walberla." Even rain did not deter, but the previously unpaved roads were then washed away.

Fall from the rock

That there is no bad weather for walberla-friends, that was already the case 100 years ago – but with a tragic incident. In the forchheimer tagblatt on 3. May 1913: "yesterday's walberlafest had a tremendously good response despite the bad weather forecast. In the evening, the railroad station in forchheim and the inns along the railroad line were a hive of activity, and the colorful costumes presented an impressive sight. Unfortunately, this festival was not to be without an accident, as the unmarried 19 year old packer johann schwab from nurnberg fell from the rock near the chapel at 5 o'clock in the morning, breaking his lower leg and the bone of his nose. He was immediately visited by the forchheim doctor dr. Happily brought to the hospital. His fracture of the tibia will keep him in bed for several weeks."

"The needs of thirst

The local historian deuerlein reported more than 50 years ago: "today is the walberlafest, if you disregard the church service in the morning and by very few from year to year rarer and rarer stands with commodities more a happy spring festival has become, where the sales booths in ever greater measure the bodily needs of hunger and thirst and the cheerful exuberance meet." How true! Nowadays beer is served from 15 different breweries. On saturday, 4. May, the festival is open from 10 a.M., on sunday from 9 a.M.30 p.M. Each night until 11 p.M.


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