Pfingstritt in Bad Kötzting
Pfingstritt in Bad Kötzting

The Pfingstritt in Bad Kötzting / Bavarian Forest

The Pfingstritt Bad Kötzting one of the largest mounted penitential processions in Europe and goes back to a vow from 1412. In the village Steinbühl, about seven kilometres from Bad Kötzting, a man was dying and asked for the last sacraments. The priest however was unable to go there without protection. Therefore the Kötztinger Burschen (fellows) upon his request gave him safe passage. After the safe return it was vowed to repeat the ride each year. And so it has remained. Every years on Whit Monday 900 horsemen pass praying on decorated horses and in old costumes out through the Zellertal to Steinbühl.

Under the ceremonial ringing of the church bells citizens and farmers leave the city, renovating the ancient vow praying on festively decorated horses. The equestrian procession is led by the cross-bearer. He is followed by lantern carriers, fanfares, spiritual leader with sacristan and ministrants. Behind them, the Pentecost bridegroom with both bride leaders ride.  The official top is completed by the Pentecost bridegroom of the previous year, which carries the flag of the market, his bride leaders and by the representation of the Burschenschaft (fraternity). The remaining horsemen follow. Many carry memory flags, which they received for participating so many years. At four stations, the spiritual leader announces the gospel and blesses the land with the monstrance.

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