16th Bochumer Knappentag (Bochum Miners’ Day)
6 December 2013
Once again, we invite you to the annual Bochumer Knappentag on the first Friday after St. Barbara’s Day.
Since 1998, the Bochumer Knappentag has taken place every year, on the first Friday after the annual remembrance day in honour of St. Barbara (4 December). The aim of the Knappentag is to uphold miners’ traditions.
From 16.00, delegations from the Knappenvereine (miners’ associations) meet at the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum and register their participation in the Schichtmeisterei (accounting office), which has been especially set up for this purpose.
At around 17.45 the 600 or so Knappen (qualified miners) take up their positions on the Europaplatz in front of the main entrance to the museum, then towards 18.00, accompanied by several bands in parade uniform – and with representatives from public life at their head – they march towards the Probsteikirche on a route arranged in consultation with the local authorities.
The miners, wearing traditional dress, carry illuminated miners’ lamps. Their traditional flags make the roughly 500 m long procession a splendid sight as it passes through the Christmas lights and decorations in the city centre, guided by police officers. The streets are closed to private vehicles during the parade. An ecumenical service is held in the Probsteikirche, with many locals in attendance, joining the miners in hymns, prayers and intercessions. The procession then returns to the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, where the Bochumer Knappentag comes to a pleasant end with an informal gathering, finishing at about 22.00.