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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

"Kerweih Week"

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

          The largest holiday is on the last Sunday in October: the Kirchweih (consecration of the church.) Already the drive of the whole "Kerweih Week", left the presentiment of things to come.  In the shops there is a lot of activity, in the homes everything is turned upside down to clean them thoroughly, there is cooking, baking, roasting.  Then everything must be finished to a "t" by Saturday.  The skirts were starched, ironed, and soon they had to run to a tailor to try on a "Kerweikleed" (Kerweih clothing).  Then soon the shoemaker had to be asked to accelerate his work because without Kerweih shoes there is no Kerweih.  The "Kerweihsäuche" was done, there Kerweih wine cared for, and the "Kerweihgäschte" (Kerweih guests) were invited and called up.  Children, parents, or relatives who lived in other villages, or are serving, come from the neighboring villages in wagons or are picked up at the train station.  The train station is too small for the many wagons that wait here for guests.  The buses are crammed full and return two or three times.  Long lines of traffic streamed in from a good distance in the summertime to the village.  The traffic and the joy increased even more the fact that the Kirchweih coincided with the autumn market.  In former times everything already poured into the market on Saturdays.  Today everything is hurriedly brought to market on Sunday in the morning and then all the guests go to the church before noon.  Shortly after noon the pubs are filled and the Kerweih dance starts.  All of the girls are by the side of the "Barsch" to get the first dance, if he has not been unfaithful to his people (Mensch).  There it was decided from so many rounds if something would come from it, or if "they would fall in the dirt" (nothing would come of it).  The curious must "un wann es Mischtgavle reent" from it.  Formerly the singles "Hujja gebott" was about 9 o'clock.  They had to make the married place which they then had to endure until sunrise.  On the second day it went about the same as the first.  Meanwhile a crowd devoured the finest food at meal time, it was all eaten, and "wenn der Maa e' Krippel werd."  In view of the many good foods ones have sighed: "If only I had "e' Maa wie e' Strohsack" (my strawsack now).  Formerly there was still free music and free food on Thursday.  The liveliest left in the morning playing the music on the music on the way home.  - On Saturday the Kirchweih begins in Sekitsch, where for so many it already continued.

[Published at Oct 2005 by Jody McKim Pharr]