History of Denekamp
Which tribe lived in Twente, and expecially Denekamp, can not be determinder with certainty. Excavations on the Borghert and 'De Klokkenberg' have provided interesting details. Previously this part of the country was visited bij Romans. It's not sure if they lived here or were driven trade exclusively. Around the 8th century Denekamp was mentioned as a part of the so-called parish Ootmarsum.
Denekamp originated in a place where it was out of reach of the flood waters of the Dinkel. The Dinkel still runs along Denekamp. The parish Denekamp was formed by merging the neighboring shelves Denekamp, North Deurningen and Beuningen. The name 'neighborliness' was introduced in the Middle Ages by settlements wich already had a certain scale and possessed a certain core. They were close, often closed, communities. The most part of the grounds in and around Denekamp were owned by the Bishop of Utrecht until 1527. Around the 15th century Denekamp was a relatively small village with around 100 houses scattered along a single main street in the vicinity of a church. This church was built in the 13th century from the so-called Bentheim stone. The tower was build a bit later, around 1436. Most of the people in the village were farmers.
Because Twente was a difficult area to reach, the outside influences did not reach the area. This means many traditions and customs maintained for centuries. Nowadays inhabitants cherish these old traditions and customs. In countless ways the history, the culture and traditions are recognizable anchored in the everyday life in Denekamp. For example, think about the dialect, the facade signs on the farms, the midwinter blow during the Addvent period and the "Noaber Duty". But thé folklore happening in Denekamp are the Easter customs.
On Easter Sunday the inhabitans of Denekamp go towards the estate Singraven to get their "Easter tree". This is done under the leadership of Judas and Iscarioth: two young men from Denekamp. The Easter tree is dragged to the village with the help of thousands spectators. The parade is a long chain of people wich hold hands, a kind of 'human rope'. When they arrive to Denekamp the procession goes towards the 'Easter meadow'. As the Easter tree is set up at the huge pile of 'Easter wood', the bidding can begin. The 'Easter tree' is each year sold to the highest bidder among the attendees. This occurs in unadulterated dialect. In the evening the 'Easter wood' will be lighted: the 'Easter fire'. This wood was picked up by hundreds of villagers on Easter Saturday.