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Main Festival

02.08 – 05.08.2024

Tradition and culture - A festival that connects

Main Festival: Heartbeat 
on the riverbank

The Main Festival in Frankfurt, taking place directly on the banks of the River Main, transforms the city into a lively meeting place that brings together young and old. With a colourful mix of traditional rides, delicious regional food and a diverse cultural programme, the festival reflects the lively soul of Frankfurt.

 

The traditional fisherman's joust is one of the highlights of this festival. Brave participants in historical costumes compete against each other on wooden boats, equipped with long spears, in a captivating contest of skill and balance. Set against the backdrop of the River Main, this event offers a fascinating journey through time and attracts crowds of enthusiasts every year.

History and character of the Main Festival

Historical roots,  living tradition

The origin of the Main Festival is considered to be the consecration of the Church of the Three Kings ("Dreikönigskirche") on 23rd July 1340, from which fishermen and skippers derived their fishing festival.

The consecration of “Dreikönigskirche” on 23rd July 1340 is regarded as the origin of the Main Festival. Fishermen and boatmen derived their fishing festival from this event, with which they paid homage to "their river and its bounty". They celebrated with "ox on a spit", let wine flow from the Fountain of Justice and enjoyed passion plays performed by schoolchildren in "Himmelreich huts", goose-plucking, duck-catching by fishermen, fireworks and colourful parade rides in processions of four and six along the banks of the River Main.

On the occasion of the inauguration of the new "Old Bridge", people remembered the old Main festivals and once again organised an annual folk festival on the Main. Interrupted by the destruction of the Second World War, the then Lord Mayor Dr Walter Kolb continued the tradition. Construction work required the Main Festival to move briefly to the Ostpark, but when it returned from its exile on Römerberg and the banks of the River Main in 1973, the Main Festival was able to celebrate a sensational comeback.

  • Ox on the spit: 
    A traditional speciality that has been enjoyed since the beginning of the festival.

  • Wine from the Fountain of Justice: 
    A unique attraction where wine instead of water flows from one of the city's historic fountains.

  • Market stalls and fairground rides: 
    A colourful hustle and bustle with market stalls offering local specialities and handicrafts, as well as fairground rides for young and old.

  • Fisherman's jousting:
    Today's Mainfest has its roots deep in the Middle Ages and was originally established as a fishing festival. To this day, the festival celebrates the old custom of fishing in cooperation with the Schaustellerverband Frankfurt Rhein-Main e.V. and the Frankfurter Fischer- und Schifferzunft.
    Once a serious competition for the best market places, today it is an exciting show fight. Teams compete in rowing boats to playfully push their opponents into the water. 

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Programme

Information on the programme will follow.

FAQ 

Frequently asked questions about the Mainfest