The city of Ulm, Germany, alongside the Danube River, gets hopping during the latter half of July, when Schwörwoche, or Oath Week, comes around. Festivities reach their climax on Schwörfeier, or Oath Monday, always the second to last Monday of July. The weekend leading up to this date also offers a full schedule of events.

On Saturday evening, enjoy the Serenade of Lights, when thousands of tea-light candles are lit and launched into the river. Later, columns of illuminated water will shoot up from points within the river and bathe the skies in soft light.

On Sunday, catch the Bindertanz, or Cooper’s Dance, which dates to 1745 and is performed just once every four years. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Kornhausplatz, with performances at four more sites before the dancers reach the city’s Marktplatz at 7:15 p.m. for their final show of the day. On Monday at 11 a.m., they give their final performance at the Weinhof, which is the site of the official Oath Week ceremonies. It is here that Ulm’s mayor recites a historic oath to the constitution that dates to 1397.

The mood lightens when folks make their way to the banks of the Danube for the “Nabada” river festival. At about 4 p.m., dozens of festively decorated boats, improvised vessels and floating bands will hit the water and make their way down the river to the Friedrichsau Park. See details in English at

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