Prerow’s history has produced some wonderful, although admittedly sometimes quirky traditions. Traditions range from old Nordic customs such as the Lucia festival before Christmas to swimmers in fancy dress taking a dip into the ice-cold Baltic to mark the New Year.
Traditions often convey a sense of feeling grounded in a past that goes further back than our own memories. There can be a real pleasure in doing something that’s been done since olden times at regular intervals. That’s why countless daughters, fathers and grandfathers take part in the traditional Prerow barrel smashing event “Tonnenabschlagen”. In this north German variant of a knightly tournament, contestants take turns riding past an old herring barrel and trying to smash it to pieces. The winner is “king” of Prerow for the day.
Once a year, the oldest structure on the Darß is celebrated with its own festival: the Seemannskirche. Smoked fish, punch, and plenty of live music provide the perfect accompaniments to a celebration for the entire town. As the day ends, a large bonfire is lit and things can even become a bit romantic. At Christmas, the church hosts a variety of Christian traditions, such as the Luciafest, brought to the peninsula by its erstwhile Swedish rulers.