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"A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 
OBSERVANCES & FESTIVALS
OF OUR ANCESTORS
 

Christmas in the barracks at Haid. This is my Dad Stefan Wirth (L), Onkel Toni & Tante Helene, circa 1947/48. The tree was decorated in boiled lollies wrapped in paper they had made with my Oma. The toys came from caritas~ Prunella Skye Wirth

Monthly Holiday  Index: Jan | Feb | Mar & Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

Kirchweih "Consecration of the church"

The consecration or blessing of a church usually took place on a weekend.  The date celebrated was determined by the date the church was blessed. As an example, if a church was blessed on Sunday, October 15, 1850, and October 15 in 1853 would fall on a Wednesday, the Kirchweih would be celebrated on the Sunday following that Wednesday. Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields. Eventually Kirchweih became the most important annual secular festival in every village.  To accommodate visitors from other villages, Kirchweih was celebrated on a different weekend in each village.

Traditions

Traditions and Customs Independent of the Time of Year by Peter Lang

Customs on Festival Days 'Remembered by the Danube Swabian' by Dr. Viktor Pratscher

Rosemary in the Life of the Danube Swabians by Hans Gehl

Customs and Traditions by Stefan Schmied

"Jeritag" (Jeri Day?) and "Michaelitag by Dr. Viktor Pratscher

Fresch un Krotte 'Folksong' from Saderlach and Alexanderhausen by Nick Tullius

Many Traditions, One Family by Rebecca Steimle

Harvest Time

Harvest Time in Alexanderhausen

Obsternte "Fruit Harvest" by Alex Leeb

Banat Vineyards

Batschka Vineyards

Syrmia Vineyards

Threshing - A family celebration

  Das Schlachtfest "The Slaughter Festival" - A family celebration

Das Schlachtfest "The Slaughter Festival"
Pre-World War II Danube Swabians cultivated the cherished custom as Schlachtfest (livestock-butchering festival).

Last Updated: August 26, 2014
 

 

  January

Januar, Jänner, Jenner, Hartung

This photo was un a bag of old postcards. Written in Old German, on the back were the names of the people in the photo. This is my best guess as to the translation. Right front - Baumhoff young Hans Prokle, Aunt Baumhoff behind my second mother(?), Frau Christine, next to her stands my father Johan Prokle. ~ Christine Whatley Feimer, Setschan.

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  by Adam Martini

The Eve Before January 6th 'Three King's Day'  by Alex Leeb

January 6th Heilige Drei Könige by Alex Leeb

January 6th - "Epiphany"

February

Februar, Hornung

February 03 - Vor dem Spiegel
'In Front of the Mirror'

©
Stefan Jäger Art Collection

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 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]

 

My Grandmother's older brother born in Hatzfeld 1998. Nicholas Hirsch was one of his Godparents. Dressed in costume for the Maskenball meaning costume or masquerade ball, worn only during carnival time, 1898.
~ Sandra Bruns

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]


B
atsch-Sentiwan Fasching
 

March /April

März, Frühlingsmonat / April, Osteren, Ostermonat

 

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

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

We combined March & April because Easter falls more often in April.

Work in the vineyards usually started in mid-March

Palm Sunday starts the Holy Week

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

Good Friday - Friday before Easter

“Ratschen” Holy Week in Banat by Nick Tullius

 

May

Mai, Wonnemonat, Blütemonat

May 02 - Spielende Kinder
'Children playing'

©
Stefan Jäger Art Collection

 
Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.

June

Juni, Brachmonat

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

 
Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.

July

Juli, Heuert, Heumonat, Heuet

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

 
Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.

August

August, Erntemonat, Hitzmonat

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

 
Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.
 

 

September

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. By Dr. Viktor Pratscher, Read more.

"Life of a Schwob" by Alex Leeb

Harvest Time in Alexanderhausen

Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.

 

October

 

Oktober, Weinmonat, 8ber, 8brisOktober

Oct 02 - Kirchweihmarkt
'Kirchweih market'
© Stefan Jäger Art Collection

 

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

Some Kirchweih - "Consecration of the church" events were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.

 

November

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.

Some Kirchweih dates were later moved to the fall, so that they would not interfere with the work in the fields.

December

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Christmas Time Memories 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

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.


[Published at DVHH.org by Jody McKim Pharr - Last Updated: 26 Aug 2014]