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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

New Year's Day

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

    The customs of the holidays starts with New Years Day.  At midnight all the German music bands step into action.  They start off the New Year playing.  In the cold still night the music of the entire brass band rang out before the windows of the bedrooms so that the window panes rattled.  They played three pieces.  After that the New Year was greeted with a mouthful of spirits and they were paid a fee with a coin, moving the band quickly farther along, and at daybreak they still had a long row of their customers to greet.  The lads were already drawn through the streets during the whole night, ringing in the New Year and wishing their girls a Happy New Year.  Bright and early the children wished their parents and godparents a Happy New Year.  The older people were entertained with "Schwartemagen" (brawn) or some alcohol, the smaller ones received a gift, usually a coin.  Also the poor children used this good opportunity and delivered their New Year's wish and were well rewarded in each house.

The New Year's wish of the small Knirpfe (tots) was formerly:

"Winsche, winsche take, The elders:

Kreizer in mei Sacke "Ich winsch euch e' glickliches neues Johr,  Loß' mich net so lang stehn G'sundheit, Fried' und Frend', e' langes Lewe  Daß   ich kann (um e' Haus) weiter gehn." und die ewige Glücklichkeit.

Den großen Mädln wünscht man: Was ehr mehr winsche, winsch ich euch aa."  "Ich winsch der e' Mann mit schwarze   Hoor un rote Backe, der was mit der geht Kukruz hacke."

Today the children say a long poem here which contains all possible and impossible good wishes.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr]