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Participants in the World's Largest Schützenfest in Hanover (July 2, 2006)

Although the last decades have brought dramatic social change to Germany, many beloved traditions have persisted. Shooting clubs [Schützenvereine] have a long tradition in Germany. Their early forms, shooting fraternities and shooting societies (with militiamen armed with crossbows), date back to the Middle Ages. The photograph shows participants in the traditional parade at the world's largest shooting festival [Schützenfest] in Hanover. The approximately 12,000 participants included members of shooting clubs, and folklore and carnival groups. They were accompanied on their route by115 bands. The roughly 12-kilometer-long parade proceeded through downtown Hanover and ended at the festival grounds. Photo by Patrick Lux.

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Participants in the World's Largest <I>Schützenfest</i> in Hanover (July 2, 2006)

(c) dpa