Summer profit

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Chalkboard made of paper flowers

The summer win in Eisenach is considered one of the largest spring festivals in Germany . It is celebrated the weekend before the Sunday Laetare . The summer win is a unique selling point that has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage in Germany. The German UNESCO Commission included the summer prize in the nationwide register of intangible cultural heritage in December 2016 .

Historical origin

The custom of driving out winter and bringing in summer, which has been known as carrying death since the Middle Ages , was already known in pre-Christian times . The custom is said to go back to the pagan New Year festival, as it was mainly celebrated in Slavic countries. At that time, only the seasons summer and winter were known, which is why this custom is observed at the beginning of spring according to today's seasons.

As early as the early Middle Ages, bicycles with a burning straw dummy attached were rolled down from the mountain slopes of Metilstein over the as yet uncultivated fields into the valley. Young men tried to catch some of the fire to use as a hearth fire. The legend of the evil spirits so should be expelled through the chimney. Afterwards, a fir tree decorated with colorful ribbons was set up on the Eisenach festival site.


Contemporary view of the fairground in Weststadt around 1865
The summer profit memorial with rooster, pretzel and egg

The custom was first mentioned at the end of the 13th century and is said to have been practiced regularly since the 15th century. The festival was first mentioned in writing as a summer prize around 1704 in the city ​​chronicle begun by Johann Michael Koch , then rector of the Eisenach grammar school, but not yet completed.

The Georgenvorstadt in the west of Eisenach around the Ehrensteig is considered the cradle of today's customs, many of the poems and plays are therefore written in the Stiegker dialect . After several years of preparation, the first summer profit parade was organized on April 25, 1897 by the West City District Association of Eisenach . The scene of the parade and the festival was the Katharinenstraße west of the center of the city. From then on, the festival was celebrated regularly every year on the weekend around Laetare until the event did not take place for almost a decade because of the First World War .

The Kommerschabende , which was celebrated in the weeks before Laetare and which emerged from the tradition of the Kommers , became an integral part of the summer prizes as social evenings with music and dance in the 1920s, which were mostly held in the Volkshaus Stern . On the occasion of these events a number of folk plays were performed, including a. "Summer competition with winter" by the Eisenach educator Auguste Möder (1830–1897). The comedy "Miele" by Fritz Reinhardt, which premiered on March 8, 1931, is considered to be the hour of birth of the summer winning characters Henner and Frieder , played by the Eisenach folk actors Albert Fehr (1898–1979) and Kurt Hesse (1898–1975).

After the National Socialists tried to ideologize the festival, it did not take place during and after the Second World War . It wasn't until 1950 that the summer win was celebrated again. Until 1961, the pageants revolved around the figures of the summer win, and it was not until 1962 that historical and cultural events in the history of Eisenach were on the program. From 1967 the festival moved to the market square, which has since been the backdrop for the dispute between Ms. Sunna and Mr. Winter. The pageant has had a current motto since 1974.

In 1985 the summer profit memorial made by Günther Laufer was inaugurated. It shows the traditional symbols of rooster, egg and pretzel and stands in front of the entrance to the city library. In 1990 the summer profit was canceled after there had been disagreements between the organizers and the SED district leadership, which ended with the resignation of the summer profit executive committee.

In 1992 the summer profit association Eisenach e. V. , who has been responsible for organizing the festival ever since. In 2010 the historic firewheel rolling was again included in the festival program. In 2020 the festival was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic .


House decorations
Henner and Frieder

House decorations

Originally the Georgenvorstadt was adorned with green fir branches, which were decorated with colorful ribbons. In the 1950s, the houses on Ehrensteig , Frankfurter Strasse and Katharinenstrasse were decorated for the first time with hand-shaped flowers made of crepe paper . This custom can also be observed in other streets of Eisenach since the 1990s.

Mrs. Sunna and Mr. Winter

The passing winter is symbolized by Mr. Winter , who has its origin in the idea of ​​an "ice king". His opponent is the sun goddess , called Mrs. Sunna . At the end of the parade, both have a dispute that Ms. Sunna always wins. As a symbol of the fading winter, a straw doll is burned after the argument.

Rooster, egg and pretzel

The symbols of summer profit include the rooster as herald of light and the beginning of the day, an egg decorated with rushes as a symbol of fertility and the pretzel as a symbol of infinity as the seasons change. The rush eggs were first mentioned in 1823, in this tradition the reputation of the summer prize guild "Gut Ei und Kikeriki" arose.

Fire wheel

Another symbol are the fire wheels, a similar custom is still today the " Easter wheel run " in the area of Lügde .


The summer win produced a number of originals . The oldest are Henner and Frieder , because the “Henner and Frieder jokes” were already widespread in the city at the end of the 19th century. The Eisenach cartoonist Paul Hempe gave the characters a face for the first time in 1928, and in 1931 they came to life in the popular play “Miele”.

This was followed by Mäxer (1964), Aunt Frieda (1971) and Mäxen's son Mike (1974). Aunt Frieda got a friend in 1989, Minchen, and in 2002 Aunt Frieda's two children, Schorsch and Hermione, were born.


Web links

Commons : Sommergewinn Eisenach  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. JW Wolf (Ed.) Journal for German Mythology and Sittenkunde First Volume, Verlag der Dieterichschen Buchhandlung, Göttingen 1853, p. 103 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  3. ^ Urania cultural and educational association Gotha eV (Ed.): Eisenacher personalities. A biographical lexicon. RhinoVerlag, Weimar 2004, ISBN 3-932081-45-5 , p. 60
  4. Katja Schmidtberger: The Eisenacher Volksfest was canceled 30 years ago , Thüringer Allgemeine / Eisenacher Allgemeine from March 21, 2020
  6. Eisenach summer profit is canceled due to coronavirus ,, accessed on March 4, 2020