German Tradition: The Richtfest Ceremony

The Richfest Ceremony (House Toping Party) is a typical German tradition when building a new house.

A German builder’s tradition

At the moment the external framework of the new home is finished, the so-called “Richfest” is celebrated. At this “Topping Party” the homeowner celebrates the half-way point of construction with the building crew. Key elements in the Richfest Ceremony includes: the homeowner puts in the ‘last nail’ in the roof, the workers are all asked to sign a roof beam and a tree with colorful ribbons is placed on top of the house to symbolize the half-way point of construction.

In addition to marking a key point of construction, the ceremony is intended to thank the people working on the house and it gives the homeowner an opportunity to provide food and drinks in their honor. The ceremony is not only fun, but it is intended to bring luck and good spirits to the new home.

Atlanta Expat