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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Easter Remembered

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

          On Easter the children went to their godparents "zammetran." Immediately the children went early in the morning in droves with beaming faces from one godparent to another and told what the Easter Bunny had brought them all.  Everywhere they were given presents: the boys received the (Lebzelter?) horses and the girls received (Lebzelter?) dolls, in addition to toys, apples, nuts, figs, and of course beautiful colored Easter eggs and a coin.  On the occasion of the confirmation the child asks his baptismal godparents to be there and receives a valuable gift in memory of it, at which the "Zammentragen?" also stops.  The confirmation was always on Green Thursday in the first hundred years but in the last decade it's been done on the day of the Ascension of Christ.  On this day the church is crammed full.  On the second Easter day the girls are sprayed by the boys.

     The mischief with which the girls formerly had water poured over them is rather subdued today and a sensible understanding exists.

          On the second Whitsunday the girls were spread before the gates. But the real point of this spread was only seen if it appeared with flowers.   In the night on the first of May the May trees were formerly set out.  Five or six years ago the commandant of the fire brigade still put a tree out.  The May tree is on a high perch with a green branch above on which colorful ribbons and bottles are fastened.  In the course of the month of May many manors held May celebrations at which good acquaintances or the youth were invited.  There it was a jolly time.

[Published at Oct 2005 by Jody McKim Pharr]