A play of life and death, promised in a moment of mortal threat – this is how the story of the Oberammergau Passion Play started in 1633. In the middle of the Thirty Years War, after
months of suffering and death from the plague, the Oberammergauers swore an oath that they would perform the „Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ“ every ten years. At Pentecost 1634, they fulfilled their pledge for the first time on a stage they put up in the cemetery above the fresh graves of the plague victims. In the year 2020, the Community of Oberammergau will perform the Passion Play, they have preserved throughout the centuries with singular continuity, for the 42nd time.
The tradition, maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, will be continued in 2020 and is regarded as the most important Passion Play in the world.
All actors of the world’s largest amateur dramatic performance have to live in the village, as a special play law is in effect. All of the about 2000 participants, from actors playing the big speaking parts such as Jesus, Mary or Judas, through members of the choir, orchestra members, firemen, and ushers, must have been born in Oberammergau or have lived there for at least 20 years. The small village at the edge of the Bavarian Alps has approximately 5.300 inhabitants.
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