Customs and Traditions
When Bishop Radolf brought the relics of Saints Theopont, Senesius and Zeno to Lake Constance, Radolfzell became a famous pilgrimage destination. The veneration of these saints gave rise to traditions like the Feast of Lords and the Water Procession in Moos that are still celebrated today.
"Hausherrenfest" Feast of Lords
Every year on the 3rd Sunday in July, Radolfzell dedicates a big festival to three saints: Theopont, Senius and Zeno.
Over time, the once purely Christian festival has turned into an all-inclusive city festival. The prelude begins with a gala concert performed by the youth brass orchestra at the marketplace Saturday evening. Sunday begins with the "Hausherrenamt" in the cathedral, followed by the procession of precious relics of the city patrons. The event includes live entertainment, a children's programme and music at the harbour pier and lakeside concert pavilion, with food and drink provided by various Radolfzell service clubs. Particularly entertaining is the various boat parades, culminating in a grandiose fireworks display.
Another highlight is the famous Moos Water Procession. In the early hours of Monday morning, the pilgrims from Moos glide over the lake to neighbouring Radolfzell. Their row boats are beautifully decorated lavishly with flowers. Hundreds of people receive the arrivals at the pier. After landing, everyone follows a solemn procession to the Radolfzell cathedral. In 1797, the Moos farmers rowed to Radolfzell for the first time to thank the city's saints for having spared a livestock epidemic.
Radolfzell Traditional Costumes
The bourgeois tradition of the 18th and 19th-centuries is still celebrated by the Old-Radolfzell Costume Club. Almost forgotten in the annals of time, this festive costume returned again to the Hausherrenfest in 1926. This festival is still the most important occasion to admire the stately robes and the golden filigree headpieces. The ornamental costume is worn on other ceremonious occasions throughout the year.
Radolfzell on Lake Constance is one of the key Carnival strongholds in southern Germany. Here the Alemannic carnival is celebrated with bells on — literally. It starts the evening before Schmotzige Duntschtig (dirty Thursday) with the Hemdglonker parade, a free parade for everyone. Just remember to come dressed in a white nightgown and pointed cap!
On Dirty Thursday, students are freed from school, the town hall is overthrown, and the Fool Tree is set up on the marketplace. On Fastnet Sunday, the big parade weaves through the old town. Other highlights of the Fools’ Calendar include the Foolish Fair on Rose Monday and the Carnival Bonfire on Fat Tuesday. The howling and lamentations of the masked community brings and end to the city’s cheerful ‘state of emergency.’
The Klepperle are a special feature of Radolfzell. The wooden boards are clapped like castanets and fill the streets with a resounding racket.
Carnival 2022: 24 February - 01 March