Danube Swabian Heritage


Holidays & Festivals


Januar, Jänner, Jenner, Hartung

January 02 - Dorfstrasse im Winter -
 'Village street in winter'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

New Year's Eve
by Waltraud Wilhelm & Elisabeth Sadorf

New Years Day
by Dr. Viktor Pratscher

New Years Wishes
by Alex Leeb

New Year's Day
y Adam Martini

January 6th Heilige Drei Könige
 by Alex Leeb

January-6th 'Three King's Day' - Kasper, Melcher, Balthazar by Alex Leeb



Februar, Hornung

February 03 - Vor dem Spiegel
'In Front of the Mirror'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection
Batsch-Sentiwan Fasching

February 20, 2007 Fasching / Fastnacht(Faschingsdienstag). The official start of the Fasching season is either January 7 (the day after Ephiphany, Dreikönige) or the 11th day of the 11th month (Elfter im Elften, Nov. 11), depending on the region.

Fastnacht. . . or Carnival (like Mardi Gras) is related to the Germanic word “fasten” (to fast, abstain from eating). Karneval is related to the Latin “carnem levare” (to remove meat). The Faschingsball is the ball held on the weekend before Ash Wednesday.

"With the last Fasching (carnival) day they reached the high point of their pleasure at carnival time.  Some days a complete food package was wrapped up so for example carnival doughnuts had to be given on carnival days, spinach on Green Thursday, and noodles on Good Friday." [Customs on Festival Days - Fasching - Carnival by Dr. Viktor Pratscher [The Germans of the Community of Feketic / Feketitsch]; Translated by Brad Schwebler]

Faschingball (Festival) was the final Hurrah, prior to Lent. Throughout Lent, sacrifices were made. No music was played, no dancing, no eating meat, etc.; the final weekend before Lent, dances were held on Sunday afternoon and in the evening until early in the morning. We had no costumes and everybody danced together (rich and poor). No weddings throughout Lent, playing cards became popular. We did not use masks at the Faschingball. [ Alex Leeb]



März, Frühlingsmonat / April, Osteren, Ostermonat

Click image to enlarge

  March 02 - Das letzte Abendmahl -
'The Last Supper'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection


April 02 - Bei der Kindtaufe
'At the christening'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

Easter falls more often in April than in March, so we combined the months.

Palm Sunday starts the Holy Week

Holy Thursday before Easter - Green Thursday
(in German: Gruendonnerstag) with first green leaves from your garden.

Good Friday - Friday before Easter

Ecclesiastical Calendar - use to calculate when ecclesiastical (e.g. Easter) events occurred in any year.


Mai, Wonnemonat, Blütemonat

May 02 - Spielende Kinder
'Children playing'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection



Juni, Brachmonat

Jun 02 - Hof mit Oleander
'Yard with oleander'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection



Juli, Heuert, Heumonat, Heuet

July 02 - Auf dem Heimweg
'On the way home'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection



August, Erntemonat, Hitzmonat

August 02 - Kinder in der Festtagstracht
'Children in their festive costumes'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection



September, Fruchtmonat, Herpsten, Herbstmonat, 7ber, 7bris

Sep 02 Markttag in der Stadt
'Market day in town'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

Customs & Festival Days - Autumn & Harvest Time
On the occasion of the completion of the threshing work the workers went singing through the village pulling their threshing machine decorated with flowers. There was no special harvest festival. The cold midday meal in the vineyard tasted excellent. The effect of the many grapes and cider first comes later. Instead of the former stomping on the grapes Treten (Trippeln), today these are ground and pressed.
[Dr. Viktor Pratscher, [The Germans of the Community of Feketitsch] translated by Brad

"Life of a Schwob"
by Alex Leeb

Harvest Time in Alexanderhausen


Oktober, Weinmonat, 8ber, 8brisOktober


Oct. 31 is All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day



November, Wintermonat, 9ber, 9bris

Nov 2 - Der Kukuruzriwler
'The corn stripper'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

Nov 1 - "The Feast of All Saints"
The Church commemorates on this day all the Saints in heaven without exception, and thus honors also those who are unknown and who have no public recognition in the liturgy.

Nov 2 - "All Soul's Day"
The practice of recommending to God the souls in Purgatory that we may mitigate the great pains which they suffer and that he may soon bring them into his glory. [All Souls Day is not only a Catholic event, but a day to celebrate the life of your ancestors.]

Totensonntag - "Mourning Sunday"
Observed in November on the Sunday prior to the first Advent Sunday. The Protestant version of All Soul's Day.


Dezember, Christmonat, 10ber, 10bris, Xbris, Xber

'Village street in winter' 
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

Dec 02 - In der Kirche
'In Church'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

Christkind: Christ Child
Christkindl: Christ Child (Bavarian)
Christkindlmarkt: Christmas Market
Tannenbaum: Fir Tree
Weihnachtsbaum: Christmas tree
Fröhliche Weihnachten: Merry Christmas

The Hunyadi Kastell -
End of the 20th Century
Temesvar 1900 Mehala Archives

The Controversial Christmas Pickle

In Old World Germany, the last decoration placed on the Christmas Tree was always a pickle, carefully hidden deep in the boughs.

Legend has it that the observant child who found it on Christmas Day was blessed with a year of good fortune and a special gift.

Dec 4 -  St. Barbara Day

Dec 4 - the day our ancestors cut a cherry tree branch (or forsythia), placed in a vase, indoors - to bloom for Christmas Day.

Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and is a countdown to the coming of Christ. Christians mark Advent with special hymns and readings in church; symbolic candles are also lit to light the way for Christ.

Dec 6 - St. Nicholas Feast Day, which falls early in the Advent season

Dec 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Dec 24 - Christmas Eve

Dec 25 - Birth of Christ

Dec 26 - St. Stephen's Feast Day
King Stefan, who later was declared a saint, was responsible for the political unification and growth of the old greater Hungary which lasted over 100 years and which was one of the aggravating thorns for the Serbian people.

Recollections of a Danube Swabian Christmas in the "Old Country" by Frank Schmidt

Christmas in Fekitsch by Dr. Viktor Pratscher

Celebrating St. Nicholas Day in the convent (pre-1945) by Magdalena Stefan of Alexanderhausen

A Christmas Fairytale by Gerlinde Graf-Saus of Alexanderhausen

New Year's Eve by Waltraud Wilhelm and Elisabeth Sadorf of Alexanderhausen

External Links . . .
Discovering the Truth About St. Nicholas Includes Customs Around the World

German Christmas Page LISTEN to German Christmas carols, find Christmas recipes, nutcrackers, & lots of Christmas links.

Christmas Postcard Gallery

Touch of Europe Linens