Topping-out ceremony at the Bonn CCGT on 24 March 2023
Traditions such as laying the foundation stone and topping-out ceremonies still play an important role in the construction industry today. These rituals, some of which are as old as the hills, mark important milestones in the construction process and have historical and symbolic meanings that persist to this day.
The origins of these traditions can often be traced back to the Middle Ages when the construction of buildings was a complex and dangerous task. At that time, people were strongly influenced by supernatural forces and superstitions, and it was common to perform rituals to ask for protection and blessings for construction projects. Over time, these rituals became traditions that linger to this day and are practiced in many cultures around the world. The best known are the laying of the foundation stone and the topping-out ceremony.
When the roof truss of a building was completed, a celebration was held for the craftsmen and builders. A topping-out wreath was hung on the roof and the carpenter who put the wreath on was honoured with a toast. Today, the topping-out ceremony is often used to celebrate the completion of the building shell, to bless the building and to thank the craftsmen for their work.