Parish fair

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hans Bol : rural fair. 2nd half of the 16th century

The Kirchweih or the Kirchweihfest , in Germany mostly with regional names like Kirmes , Kerwe , Kerwa , Kärwa , Kirb , Kerb , Kerm or Kilbi , in Austria , South Tyrol and Old Bavaria Kirta (g) or Kirchtag , Swiss High German Kilbi or Chilbi , Banatschwäbisch Kerweih has been celebrated since the Middle Ages as a festival on the occasion of the annual return of the day of the consecration of a church . The day of the consecration has the status of a solemn festival in the respective church .


Because of the widespread use of parish fairs and their respective local characteristics, various names for parish fairs have become established in the regional dialects (sometimes based on church mass and church day ):


To "Parish Fair"

  • Notch
The fair equator. This map was created on the basis of over 3000 club names. These names were analyzed for their components Kirmes, Kerb / Kerwe and Kerwa and enriched with geodata based on the postcode.
Northern curb at the traditional curb

To "Kirchmess"

  • Karkmess :
    • in the northern Low German language area
  • Kermis :
    • in the Netherlands
  • Kerms , Kermst or Kirmse :
    • in parts of Thuringia
    • in Saxony
  • Kermse :
    • in West Lower Saxony
    • in Thuringia

To "Kirchtag"

  • Käada and Kiada :
    • in the southern Upper Palatinate



  • Kilbe :
  • Kerwe or Kirwe :
    • in the north of Alsace
  • Kermesse :
    • in northern France


  • Kerweih in all places with a German population in the Banat


Note: In Switzerland, the term Chilbi has been completely detached from the Kirchweih in many cases and is the common word for " fair ".


  • Kirvaj in some regions of Croatia


  • Kiermes in the north, south and west of Luxembourg and the area around Luxembourg City
  • Kärmes or Käermes along the Luxembourg Moselle



  • Kirschta in the eastern half of South Tyrol


Czech Republic

  • Hody (pl.), Posvícení (n)

Spain and Latin America

  • Kermés


The parish festival is basically the anniversary of the consecration of the church; the feast can also be set to a different date by episcopal decree. If the date of the consecration of the church is unknown, the celebration of the anniversary is often placed on the patronage of the church or on All Saints' Day . But there is also the general (Bavarian) church day on the third Sunday in October and other traditional dates.

In old Bavaria until 1866 the parish fair was celebrated in the towns and villages on the Sunday before or after the patronage of the church. Since the population liked to take part in the respective celebrations of the neighboring communities, the number of amusement events and the associated alcohol consumption got out of hand (in the eyes of the authorities). Therefore the traditional “Dorfkirchweih” was replaced by a central date for all churches in autumn - the third Sunday in October. However, this date has not prevailed in all of Bavaria. For the Diocese of Würzburg, for example, the second Sunday in November, probably in connection with the consecration of the Lateran basilica , which bears the honorary title “Mother and head of all churches in the world”, is on November 9th. This feast day was popularly known as “all-world skirta”.

In Saarland , the Kerb ( Rhine Franconian ) or Kirb / Kirf ( Moselle Franconian ), or fair in Catholic parishes is celebrated on the consecration day of the respective church. Since this day is no longer known in many old churches, the so-called Martinikirmes are celebrated in many places on the first or second weekend in November. The "Kerwesonntag" is always the Sunday closer to November 10th. Since it can be very cold in November, some municipalities have moved their curbs to summer weekends in the last few decades in order to be able to celebrate “street fair”.

In Switzerland , the term Chilbi has been completely detached from the parish fair and is the common word for “ fair ”.

Fixed course

Traditional fair tree erection in Beselich-Obertiefenbach 2019

In rural areas, the parish fair is an important village tradition , with the - mostly unmarried - fair boys (in Franconia also "local boys" or "Kärwaboum"; in Hesse "Kerweborsche", "Kerbeborsch", "Kermesborsche", "Plobursche" or "Kerbborsch") "; Called" Kerweihbuwe " in the Banat, also called " Straussbuwe "in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate because of the often ornately decorated fair tree, called" Fair Committee "in the Eifel), who organize the annual festival. In the meantime, girls and young women (“Kärwamadla / -madli”) in Saarland “Straussmäde” (ostrich girls) also take part in it.

In the Hessian Odenwald the "Kerwe" is traditionally "excavated", that is, opened. The villagers usually go on Fridays or Saturdays through the local streets to the house of the "Kerweparrer" (Kerwepfarrers), pick him up and go together to a point where a bottle or something similar is dug out of the ground. With this ritual, the kerwe is opened and is only ended again when a new bottle is buried for the next year. On Sundays there is a kerwe parade in many villages, where groups, clubs and people from the town and the region parade through the streets with creative ideas and designed wagons or tractors.

With the original Franconian “Kerwa” or Upper Palatinate “Kirwa”, which can be found in many towns from April to October, the event usually lasts from Thursday to Monday. Music events for the youth are usually held on Friday.

"Kärwaboum" with a
church fair tree

The " Kirchweih tree" will be set up on Saturday . In the Bavarian Forest , the “Kirtazamtrogn” takes place in many villages from Saturday to Sunday. The boys go through the village in a cart and take garden furniture, tools, etc. from the gardens and courtyards with them that have not been tidied up. This hive is built under the church fair tree and has to be picked up by the owners.

On Sunday you can still find the "Fässla excavation". If there are two “rival” groups of boys, a beer keg is hidden in the other group's garden and then has to be looked for by the local boys. If they don't make it, it's a shame if the other fraternity digs up the beer barrel again.

Other forms

Another way in which rival Kerbe boys finance their drinks is Kerblies stealing. The Kerblies, also known in some places as "Kerbeliesel", "Kerbonkel", "Kirmeshannes", "Schlackes" or "Lisbeth", is a straw doll hung on a kerb tree. Foreign hackers come primarily at night to fetch the "Lies" from the tree and, after a successful act, exchange them for liquid the next day. However, the felling of the tree is not welcomed. If the “Lies” has been stolen, the next day the Kerweb boys are mostly exposed to the scorn and ridicule of previous years.

On Monday the “Betz danced out” (sometimes also the “Kirchweihbaum danced out”). The boys choose a girl on Monday morning and dance, usually even in traditional local costume . A bouquet of flowers is given from pair to pair per round. A certain time is set on an alarm clock, at which it then rings. Whoever has the bouquet at this point is the “masta” (master) and has to foot the bill for the boys for the whole evening. In addition, after the parish fair, all boys and their girls are invited to drink schnapps and coffee with him. Often the handover of the fair to the fair boys of the next year also falls on Monday, whereby the audience is entertained by their exams that have already passed.

In some places the parish fair also includes a parish sermon , in which events of the past year are evaluated. At the end of the parish fair, the parish fair (in the Palatinate "Kerweschlumbl" or "Kerweliesl") is buried.

In addition to the "normal" curb, there are other varieties of this festival in many areas. For example, the “Asparagus Curb” is celebrated in Büttelborn , where an asparagus queen is also chosen. In the 1950s, the "Potato Notch" was held there. In Trebur there is the " sugar beet notch ".

In Biebesheim am Rhein , where the cantata is celebrated four weeks after Easter on Sunday, it was also called the “nettle notch” because the date is so early. Pentecost is celebrated in Dreieichenhain , seven weeks after Easter.

"A gscheida Kirta lasts until Irta (Tuesday) - and it can be chic, a diam times until Migga (Wednesday)." (Saying from Old Bavaria)

In Schramberg and the surrounding area, the special custom of Kilbesingen or Kirbesingen (short: "Kilbe" or "Kirbe") is observed. However, despite the name, this is not to be equated with a parish fair in the narrower sense. Rather, it is also of insistent origin.

Kirchweih songs

Analogous to the various names for Kirchweih , typical Kirchweih songs are sometimes sung in the respective dialects.

  • "Kirmesburschenlied", "Kerbemarsch" or "Kerbeburschenlied"
  • "Where is the Johann " (singphrase referring to the Kirmesjohann or Kerbejohann )
  • "Boys song" (singphrase: "We are all ... (place) boys, if you want something, you can try it ..." )
  • " Donaulied " ( "I once walked along the Danube beach" )
  • The “shit song” ( “shit in the lampshell” ) is a national joke song
  • The “toilet paper song” ( “Auf dem Donnerbalken” ) national joke song (also children's song) for the fair
  • "Now the fair has arrived", "The fair starts today", "The most beautiful boyhood life"
  • Kirbelied in Schramberg and the surrounding area in connection with the special custom of Kilbesingen

In addition, well-known folk, drinking and mood songs are sung, but these cannot be described as special church fair songs, e.g. B. “Beer here, beer here”, “ We were lying in front of Madagascar ”, “Schnapps, that was his last word”, “ A pint and a lump ”, “Heidewitzka Herr Kapitän”, “Now let's drink another bottle Wine ”,“ There is no beer in Hawaii ”,“ Mountain vagabonds ”,“ The moon shines so brightly ”,“ We ​​drink the foaming beer ”,“ The most beautiful place is always at the bar ”,“ In a small Polish town ”, “Black Natascha” and many, many others.

Church fair battle cries

Analogous to the various names for parish fair , especially within youth groups such as fraternities or societies, after, between or before the traditionally usual parish fair songs in the respective dialects, sometimes reciprocal battle cries are shouted as loudly as possible.

  • In some localities in the western Palatinate, a Kerweborsch usually agrees: "The (name of the place) Curb should lewe" Answer: "High" - "Soll lewe" - "High" - "Soll leeewe" - "High!" - What simmer? "-" Lumbe "-" Was raache mer? "-" Stumbe "-" Was saufe mer? "-" Humbe "-" And who do the (name for residents of the village) Määäd belong to? "-" Our "- "And the (place name) curb should lewe" - high "(three times)
  • Dialogue between Kerwevadder and Kerweborsch in Königstädten , district of Groß-Gerau , the place with the oldest documented curb in Germany: “Kerweborsch, still drinking? - Still much worse! - A life without love - Is like Blutworscht without Griebe - Un Blutworscht without Griebe? - is bluns! - Who's the curb? - Us! -… ”and more lines. Only at curb is then added to the end: “Hi lewe love, hi lewe woi, Kinsteerer curb should - our soi! Soi, Äbbelwoi , alls enoi! "
  • "Who's the score? - Us. - We're getting echoed. And you get wasted. A –suff, a –suff, a –suffa. - What if the stars fall from the sky? - The Erbacher curb is echoed. - What about me? - Lumbe. What do you avenge me? - dumb. What is the Bloutworscht without Kriewe? - bluns. Who cares? - Us. Whom? - Us. Whom? - Us. "(Westerwald / Taunus)
  • The notch march at the biggest curb in the Darmstadt-Dieburg district (Die Zimmner Kerb iss do) with a subsequent dialogue between Kerbvadder and Kerbborsch: “Who is the curb? - Our! From the Nawwel to the? - Brunser! And is that too? - Our! "( Mörfelden , Nauheim , district of Groß-Gerau & Groß -zimmer , district of Darmstadt-Dieburg)
  • In the southern Hessian community of Büttelborn, too, the curb traditionally begins with a dialogue between Kerwevadder and Kerweborsch: “Your Kerweborsch, who is the curb? - Our! - Unn the music? - Aa! - Unn the girls? - Above all! - High love, high wine, the Biddelberner curb must be ours! "( Büttelborn )
  • In Biebesheim am Rhein , the Kerwemeck's slogan (its job is to create a good atmosphere) is: “Whom is the curb? - Our! - Un the Musigg? - Ah! - Un the girls? - Not at all! - The Biwwesemer curb, live - high! - You live - high! - [Live - high! - Alle Haste - Naus! ”(Allusion to the southern neighboring town of Gernsheim , whose inhabitants are called owls) Narhallamarsch - and goodbye!] (The addition in [] has only been used since the Kerweborsch Association was founded). This is followed by the Kerwevadder's words during the kerwes Sunday parade: “The Musigg is now spewing bravely: De Kerwemarsch enoff the Gass!” Whereupon the parade starts moving again to the sounds of the Kerwe march.
  • "Who eats the curb - ours!" ( West Palatinate , Bavarian Lower Main )
  • "Whom is the guy? - Our! "( Kurpfalz )
  • "Who is the guy? - Our! "( Vorderpfalz )
  • “Who has Kerwa? - I have Kerwa! - Kerwa! Kerwa! Kerwa! - How san ma? - Schee san ma! - How san ma? Scheee san ma! - Mei san scheee! "( Upper Franconia )
  • “Who houd Kirwa? - Me hom Kirwa! - Wos hom the andan? - To Dreeg! - Wos homs? - To Scheissdreeg! - What about Scheissdreeg? - To stinkadn Schissdreeg! "( Upper Palatinate )
  • "Whom is the score? - Our! - Who's drinking de Woi? - Me! The (place name) curb, you live - high! - You live - high! - You live - high! Fine! - Pig - good! - And with what? - Rightly! "( Rheinhessen )
  • “Buwe, what's awesome? - Kerweih! - What else? - Cod! - Buwe, juxtaposing mol - Ehhh! "( Billed / Banat )
  • "E alde custom I have to, is our Kerweihfescht and Kerweihboam." ( Banat Swabia )
  • “When is Kerwa today? - Unnera! ”( Upper Franconia ) In rural areas, however, it tends to be:“ Who's hot Kärwa? - Me! - What are we drinking? - Beer!! - What am I doing about Durscht? - To Saudurscht !! "
  • "Who's the score? - Uus. - Whom? - Uus. - Whom? - Uus. - What do you drink? - Beer. - What? - Beer. - What? - Beer. - What is the girl drinking? - Kaba, Kaba thinks they are healthy because they are so ugly, so improbably ugly. Do not be afraid! "(Saarland)
  • "Who is the kirb for? - Uus! - Who's got it? - Me! - Who is left with? - Uus! - Who will give it to me? - Me! - Who drinks mixed beer? - Me! - Unn de schnapps? - Aach! "( Tholey , Saarland )
  • "Fair, fair, fair is today!" (Upper Eichsfeld , South Thuringia and West Thuringia)
  • “The kerwa is kumma, the kerwa is do! The old ones die brumma, die Junga san fro "( Franconia )
  • "Bem is the fair? - Us! - Don't bend yourself and benches? - I would have runner the stuff - fun fair! - * Kirmesschrei * "( East Hesse )
  • “Who is de Kemess? - Uus! "( Nassau )
  • “Who is the fun fair? - Mer honn the fair! "( Knüllgebirge )
  • “Hit is Kilwi, tomorrow is Kilwi until Zischtig Owä, if I care about Elisabeth, say I guatä Owä. Guatä Owä Elisabeth, tell me where the bed is "( Baden )
  • "Hit is Kilbig, tomorrow is Kilbig until the Ziischtig Obät, if I mess with me, say goodbye Obät. Guetä Obät Schätzili, kaufsch mor au a Brezili un ä Scheppli guete Wi, no kinne mor au räecht luschtig si ”( Bräunlingen and Weilersbach) , different variants with häsch instead of kaufsch, Schoppe red Wi instead of Scheppli good Wii
  • "Heit isch Kilbe, moarn isch Kilbe up to the Zeischdig z'Obat, when my Muatr Kiachle becht no say i guata Nobad!" ( Schömberg )
  • "Haint is Kirwa, moagn is Kirwa, üwamoagn scho wieda. Möidl wanns't kan Dantzer host gäih ham un 'leech di nieda! "( Egerland )
  • “It is often zipped! - Who are we talking about? - That's mia wuaschd! - Yes, you lay down! "( Alteglofsheim )
  • "The Kässeler Kirb, the Kässeler Kirb is do, what is the sorrow so happy ..." and "S'is Kirb in the country, s'is Kirb in the country, in the beautiful Kasseltal ..." ( Kassel (Biebergemünd) )
  • "Virzen, fuffzen, Kirmse!" ( Thuringia )
  • “Bos hoam'mer hit? Fair! Bos hoam'mer morn? Fair! Bos hoam'mer all week? Fair! And bos hoam'mer all year round? Fair! "(Thuringian Rhön )
  • "When there will be a fair, when there will be a fair, there slaughter dad a buck, da pfaft dad, da mother dances, da wiggles dad mothers dad." ( Silesia )
  • Together: "That we remained brothers forever, the thick root and the yellow turnips, Hauuu ... Jerk !!!" then: "Hopp, Hopp, Hopp, Schoppe in de Kopp ... To the middle, to the titty, to the sack, zack, zack !!! "Then follows the mutual battle cry:" Whom is the fair? "-" Uuuuser "-" Un se is ge ... "-" ... hall "-" See you in ... "-" ... fall "-" Zicke zacke , zicke zacke ... "-" hoi, hoi, hoi "-" Äppelkuche, Quetschekuche ... "-" hoi, hoi, hoi "-" What is the Kou eating, what is the Gaas eating? "-" Hoi, hoi, hoi "- "What are the police hot on the Kopp?" - "Hoi, hoi, hoi" - "What is the grandmother calling for unnerm Rock?" - "Hoi, hoi, hoi" - "What is it?" - "Lumbe !!!" - "What raache mer?" - "Stumbe !!!" - "What saufe mer?" - "Humbe !!!" - "What puke mer?" - "Klumbe !!!" - "Cheers, you sacks" - " Cheers, you sack !!! "-" Drink up, you sacks "-" Drink, you sack !!! "(in Central Hesse, here in Langenbach )
  • A fair boy counts a "three, two, one uuuund ..." - all: "Hi-jaaa-hi-jaaa-hi-jaaa-hooo! Elf, twelve, fair! Hach! "( Angelroda in Thuringia)


Traditionally, people met at the market square after the fair to buy goods from passing merchants. In some places this tradition has continued to this day.

On the occasion of the church consecration festivals, in addition to the church services, there is often a folk festival with rides ( e.g. carousels ) and other amusements, often also a sales fair for cattle , other agricultural products or goods of all kinds.

At the Kurpfälzer Kerwe, the “Kerwenschumpel” custom is maintained - a straw doll in the form of a woman takes part in a prominent place in the Kerwe celebrations and is “looked after” by the young men of the place. At the end of the Kerwetage, the Kerwenschumpel is solemnly burned with great lamentation and after a funeral speech by the "Kerweparrer".

Since the church dedication festivities used to extend beyond Monday, there is a saying in old Bavaria: “ A guate Kirta goes to Irta, and stay after a picka, then stop to Micka. "(" A good church fair lasts until Tuesday, and if you get stuck afterwards, then stop until Wednesday ")

In many villages it used to be important that the fair boys choose a girl from another place. A fair boy who chose a girl from the same place had to expect various sanctions (e.g. serving beer, being locked in the pigsty).

See also


Web links

Commons : Kermesses  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hochtaunuskreis: "Taunuskerb" in Oberursel. ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Taunus Zeitung on October 19, 2014
  2. ^ City of Frankfurt: Your own people kidnapped the notched doll. ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Frankfurter Neue Presse
  3. ^ City of Offenbach: Bieberer curb. OR online
  4. ^ Offenbach district: Haaner curb. ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (origin and occasion)
  5. Southwestern Wetterau district: Bad Nauheimer curb (Wetterauer Zeitung)
  6. Main-Kinzig-Kreis: Whitsun curb in Gelnhausen (Gelnhäuser Tageblatt)
  7. A Hessian exception is the traditional Weilburger Kirchweih (page of the organizing citizen guard)
  8. Obertiefenbach (Beselich) #Obertiefenbacher fair
  9. District Limburg-Weilburg: Holleser Kirmes (main page Kirmes Lindenholzhausen)
  10. Fair customs in Central Hesse: Fair in Langenbach (customs, songs, information)
  11. Traditions in Weilburg: Bürgergarde opens Weilburger Kirchweih ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (Nassauische Neue Presse)
  12. Lahn-Dill district: "Schillerplatzkirmes" in Wetzlar (own website of the traditional old town fair)
  13. District of Gießen: Kirmes in Rodheim-Bieber ( Memento from July 2, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (Website of the Kirmesburschen)
  14. Northeastern Wetteraukreis: Kirmes Nidda Ober-Widdersheim (Kreis Anzeiger Nidda)
  15. Vogelsbergkreis: "Alsfelder Pfingstmarkt", the traditional Alsfeld fair (own website of the traditional festival )
  16. District of Fulda: "Schlitzer Kirmes" (Fulda newspaper)
  17. ^ District of Marburg-Biedenkopf: The "inner city fair" in Marburg (Portal Freizeit Mittelhessen)
  18. Traditional song from Kerbejohann ( Memento from April 30, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (pdf)
  19. boys song for funfair The "boys Song" (Wiki notch Community)
  20. The "Danube Song" (in the song archive at
  21. Music video with text from the "Donau-Lied" (on YouTube)
  22. National joke song Das "Scheiße-Lied" (Volksliederarchiv)
  23. National joke and children's song for the parish fair The "toilet paper song" (Volksliederarchiv)
  24. Traditional fair songs in the Limburg area, Lindenholzhausen (with texts, sheet music and midi file)
  25. Traditional fair songs in Gethles ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (collection with texts)
  26. Traditional kerbelieder in Hasselbach (website with videos)
  27. Traditional Kerwe battle cry in royal cities ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (very detailed description)
  28. Central Hesse "Kirmess sayings, battle cries and Kirmeslieder" (Kirmes-Customs in Langenbach)
  29. ( Page no longer available , search in web archives: TV Angelroda - Home )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /