Erntedankfest • Harvest Festival (Literally: harvest thanksgiving festival) • Village festival • First Sunday of October • Starts with church service with an alter decorated with harvest crops • Parades and festivities follow
Martinstag • November 11th • Children's holiday • Parents sometimes light bonfires • Parade through the streets singing songs and collecting candy I'm coming with my lanternAnd my lantern comes with me.Up above the stars are glowing,We are glowing down here.My light is out,We're going home,Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum. Ich geh' mit meiner LaterneUnd meine Laterne mit mir.Dort oben leuchten die Sterne,Hier unten, da leuchten wir.Mein Licht ist aus,Wir geh'n nach Haus,Rabimmel, rabammel, rabum.
Advent Advent, Advent A little light is burning First one, then two, Then three, then four, Then the Christ child stands at the door. Each family creates an advent wreath four weeks before Christmas and each Sunday the children light a candle while they sing the Advent song Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt. Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier, dann steht das Christkind vor der Tuer.
Nikolaustag • St. Nicholas Day • December 6th • Children put out freshly polished shoes • St. Nicholas visits and leaves candy • Some times he visits in person wearing a long robe and carrying a tall, curved staff. • He has a sidekick who goes by different names: • Knecht Ruprech • Krampus • Pulterklas • Hans Muff • The side kick either gives out the goodies or the lashes, depending on whether the kids have been naughty or nice that year.
Heiligabend • Christmas Eve • Music, Carols, Presents, Church • Traditional Christmas Dinner: Fish • Celebration with immediate family • On the 25th friends are invited also for a goose or turkey dinner
Silvester • New Year’s Eve • December 31st is the day of Saint Sylvester • Celebrating with friends • Small gatherings • Huge New Years Eve Balls • Some participate in games that are supposed to tell the events of the coming year • Like (Bleigießen) • people pour molten lead into a bowl of water and look for figures and meanings in the shapes into which the lead hardens.
Heilige Drei Konige • Epiphany- Day of the Three Kings • Celebrated January 6th • Children dress up as the three Kings • Go door-to-door to collect money and candy for charities • They wear long robes and cardboard crowns; one carries a cut-out star on a pole, symbolizing the star that led the wise men to Jesus. • They sing carols, sprinkle holy water and spread incense, and as a sign of protection • They write the initials of the wise men and the year on the door of each home they visit
Karneval • Officially it lasts from November 11th until the first day of Lent • Most towns have their big celebration January 7th with the election of the Carnival “prince and princess” • During the final days social rules are forgotten people dress up and run wild through the streets