Dates 2019: 20th JuneThe Catholic church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi ten days after Whitsun, always on a Thursday. Many places in Bavaria mark this occasion with magnificent processions, which had their heyday at the time of the counter-reformation, when the processions served as a militant display of Catholic belief. The Feast of Corpus Christi was inspired by a vision experienced by the Belgian canoness regular Juliana of Liège. She subsequently applied to Pope Urban IV for the institution of a special feast day dedicated to the Holy Eucharist, or the 'Corpus Christi', the body of Christ (called 'Fronleichnam' in Middle High German, which is why the processions are called Fronleichnamsprozessionen in Bavaria).
The Feast centres on the processions; the procession path is lined by small birch trees, and the streets are strewn with fresh grass and a carpet of flowers. Depending on the region, the procession is accompanied by musicians, companies of traditional mountain marksmen, or cannoneers.
The Fronleichnamsprozession is still a symbolic embodiment of contemporary Bavarian Christianity.
Besides the Corpus Christi processions in Ruhpolding and Altötting, the only procession to take place on a lake, the Staffelsee in Seehausen near Murnau, is certainly one of the highlights of the traditional events marking this feast day.