B.O.B. --"The "Best of Banat"


Date: 26 Aug 95 12:54:30 EDT
From: "Richard J. Sadorf" 76400.2032@compuserve.com
To: Judy VanDusen Subject: Kirchweih (Funny Hats)

Judy, your photo description matches that of a Kirchweih (or Kerwei), the major feast of the year for the Banat Germans. This took place annually on a Sunday in Autumn. The events of the day included dancing, a procession, a mass, and other traditional events. The hats themselves were decorated by the girls for their favorite and followed the customs of the particular village, using ribbons with definite colors and patterns, flowers, netting, and, in some villages, gold lame.

Several photos and a good description of the events are found in Nikolaus Engelmann's "The Banat Germans" on pages 73-76. I can provide the pertinent passages if anyone is interested.
Dick Sadorf

Date: Fri, 1 Sep 95 08:55 MET DST
From: quint@ipf.bau-verm.uni-karlsruhe.de (Franz Quint)

<< Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 23:33:09 -0700
From: Steve Herold

Hi Karen,
I have a book Your Swabian Neighbors by Bob Larson. The book was published in Stuttgart in 1981. There are chapters on food, humor, proverbs, and entertainment and customs, etc.

There are a couple of interesting sections.

"Kirbe," originally a sacred act (the consecration of a church and the annual celebration of the anniversary) became increasing secular from the 9th century onward. Today it is a Volksfest with a fair, dancing or a Hocketse, or various combinations of that kind of public entertainment. The word "Kirbe"is a dialect variant of Kirchmess; or Kirchweih', meaning the consecration of a church.

Street festivals and so-called "Hocketse" are extremely popular Swabian customs, as well as forms of entertainment....a "Hocketse" is a sit-down event with wine and beer....The Swabian word "Hocketse"is an abbreviated dialect rendition of "da hocken sie" meaning "there they squat."

I remember as a kid, hearing the word Hocketse at weddings...and always thought it referred to weddings.

Wer bloss zuguckt, dem isch koi Arbet z'schwer.
No job is too tough for a passive spectator.
Steve Herold  >>

You have to be careful not to mix Schwaben, e.g. the Swabians from Stuttgart and Ulm area with the Donauschwaben or Banater Schwaben. The above book refers to the Schwaben from Stuttgart area. Although some customs might be the same as the ones of the Donauschwaben, there are some big differences. The above quoted Hocketse for example is a Schwaben-custom, but not a Donauschwaben custom.

Kirchweih (in Donauschwaben dialect: Kerwei) is also a Donauschwaben custom, but the celebration of it is totally different from the celebration of a Kirbe in Schwaben.

And in Donauschwaben dialect (in fact there is no pure Donauschwaben dialect, in each village there were some slight different pronunciations), the swabian phrase:

>> Wer bloss zuguckt, dem isch koi Arbet z'schwer.

would be:

Wer nor zuschaut, dem is ke Arweit zu schwer.

[An earlier message from Franz on the same subject]

Date: Wed, 1 Mar 95 08:44 MET
From: quint@ipf.bau-verm.uni-karlsruhe.de (Franz Quint)

>> "Kervei or Kerevei"
This is the celebration of Kerwei. Kerwei is the idiom form of the word Kirchweih. And Kirchweih means consecration of the church. One could say, that this holiday was the most important holiday of the Banater Schwaben. It was held once a year, always on the first weekend after the day of the saint of the church. For example, the church in Hatzfeld was devoted to St. Vendelin, who's day is on 21st October. So Kirchweih was in Hatzfeld each year at the weekend after 21st October. The celebrations took place from Saturday till Tuesday. One could narrate a lot about Kerwei, but then this posting will become longer and longer, and by now I should go back to my work.

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