Since 500 years, a dragon welters through the Bavarian border town Furth im Wald. Even today. With a mouth torn open, bared teeth, spitting fire, smoking and roaring it is the symbol for evil. Since 500 years, the beast is stabbed to death and resurrects again and again. The people of Furth made a knights festival out of the fight mit the 18 meter long reptile. The lance thrust is the dramatically highlight of the story about distress and misery, love and courage.
Hate and death.
A saying of the people at the border says: "Furth lives, as long the dragon dies…”
In 2007, the new version of the Drachenstich was exclusively given for the first time. The Drachenstich takes place every year in August and provides, besides the “Drachenstich“ performances, a great historical parade, a historical children’s festival, with performance of the children’s “Drachenstich” and children’s pageant, the “Further Bunte Truhe”, a patrocinium mass in the arena(when the weather is nice) and a typical Bavarian beer festival with amusement park.
Besides that, there are medieval concerts, the traditional fisherman’s poach and a swordplay and bow tournament, with camp life and historical market in the frame of ”Cave-Gladium“. So, the slogan “a city plays Middle Ages“ is rightly propagated. The new version of the „Drachenstich“ has the following background: "A horrible beast will arise and bring death and destruction " – that is what an ancient prophecy says. In the dawn of the Middle Ages, on a Sunday of August 1431, world history is made in Furth im Wald: A mighty army has gathered here, to utterly destroy the renegade Bohemians, who admire the preacher Jan Hus. The battle is as good as won, because the leader of the crusade is no less a figure than cardinal Cesarini, a descendant of Julius Caesar. But suddenly, things get chaotic: The horrible beast, which was spellbound by a curse, arises in the shadow of the war. Only two persons can put a stop to the dragon: The young chatelaine of Furth, in whose hands rest the fates of thousands now – and the fearless knight Udo – who, though, is trapped in a web of intrigue. The dragon welters unstoppably towards the city. And if it can’t be defeated, the darkest chapter of the Bible will come true in a dreadful way ... The “Drachenstich“ – the oldest festival of Germany with 5 centuries of tradition- takes place in a new, impressive version now: An elaborate production full of dramatic art, mysticism and thrilling pictures of the plump, exuberant life of the Middle Ages.
Living in Furth im Wald means living at the border. Prosperity and destruction, flourishing trade and troublesome reconstruction have alternated in this city. Always at the second Sunday of August, some centuries of the history of the city and border come true. On this day, from 2 pm onwards, the HISTORICAL PAGEANT moves through the streets of Furth. 1400 performers in original costumes are present, more than 250 horses, replicas of medieval calashes, canons, sedan chairs, music groups... How life was in the castles is shown, but also how the small people have lived, the peasants, the fishermen, the grocers.
The 15th Century, with its Hussite Wars, takes the largest space in the pageant. Many hunters and falconers, with their dogs and their loot are to be found in that group. And also the actors of the festival „Der Drachenstich“ with their entourage.
Das 15. Jahrhundert mit seinen Hussitenkriegen nimmt den größten Raum im Festzug ein. Viele Jäger und Falkner mit ihren Waffen, Hunden und der Beute sind in dieser Gruppe zu finden. Und auch die Darsteller des Festspiels "Der Drachenstich" mit ihrem Gefolge.
Drachenstich – The children’s festival
Coat the doublet – hang the sword alongside - participate. What the large ones can do, the small ones can to at least just as well in Furth. Namely while the HISTORICAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL during “Drachenstich” week. Magicians perform magic, fire-eaters spit fire, witches bewitch and fakirs ...eh? Oh well. The best thing about this: Everything is real. No television. No computer game. Robin Hood can stay in Hollywood the young Siegfried can let himself get bit by the dragon. In Furth, the real children are the heroes, the knights and princesses. The time machine makes the Schloßplatz of Furth an adventure playground of five centuries ago. It goes on in the surrounding streets : Fencing, throwing, climbing, cross bow shooting and archery, lance thrusting. Don’t watch – do it yourself and win nice prizes! And for those, who want to take it easy, there is a puppetry, a petting zoo, craftsmen from the Middle Ages, historical dancers and musicians. Only the “unapparelled“ adults have to pay admission. Children pay nothing, and if they wear a historical costume, they even get a ”Drachentaler“. Attention, secret: Parents can borrow costumes for their children! (while stocks last). Always at 2 pm, the children perform the “small“ Drachenstich on the large stage . (Measured from the nostril to the tip of the tail, the small dragon measures 6 meters. His large brother measures 19 meters!). And afterwards, there is playing, cavorting and celebrating – until the evening.
The swordplay tournament
"The beaten army of the emperor retreats only slowly back over the border. Single scattered hordes reach the first bastion of the „teutsches Reych“ - Furth im Wald. For a rest, they set up camp in front of the town and soon, pedlars and merchants turn up, who ensure the supply of the beaten fighters. Furthermore, blacksmiths and other craftsmen put up their goods for sale, so that a medieval market soon extends over the flood plains. Wafting banners and geared up fighters show, that the defeat of the imperial army does no harm to the will to combat of the knights and soldiers. Furthermore, crackling fires, delicate meals and freshly brewed beer let the losers forget their wounds and pain again. With wine, women and singing, friendships are made, which will last a lifetime ..."