Blast from the Past - First Farewell to Nations at CHIO Aachen

Sun, 10/15/2023 - 10:06
70 years of white handkerchiefs waving the riders goodbye at CHIO Aachen :: Photo © Aachen archive

Do you know when the first "farewell to nations" took place at the CHIO aachen with the white handkerchiefs?

The Farewell to the Nations is a sentimental moment at the CHIO Aachen that became even more special 70 years ago. After days of competition, filled with emotions, jubilation and crossed fingers, it is time to say goodbye on the final Sunday of the CHIO as riders from each nation parade into the stadium and then leave again while the crowds wave goodbye. 

In 1953 the Aachen stadium announcer, attorney Dr. Kurt Sonanini, encouraged the spectators to take their handkerchiefs out and wave. Since then, it has become a tradition, and the act of waving white handkerchiefs has become indispensable. Every year, 40,000 people light up the Main Stadium as if snow is falling as they wave to the sound of “Muss I denn zum Städtele hinaus."

If you have never been to Aachen, this is a great part of equestrian history you shouldn't miss!

Photos © Astrid Appels