“Kermesse, or kermis, or kirmess, is a Dutch language term derived from ‘kerk’ (church) and ‘mis’ (mass) that became borrowed in English, French, Spanish and many other languages, originally denoting the mass said on the anniversary of the foundation of a church (or the parish) and in honour of the patron. Such celebrations were regularly held in the Low Countries, in Central Europe and also in northern France, and were accompanied by feasting, dancing and sports of all kinds.”
“Kirchweih is literally the dedication of a church in German. More generally it also names the celebration of the anniversary of a dedication both at church and in local customs. The festivity is often on the day celebrating a church’s patron saint or the day of laying the foundation stone, now often celebrated the following weekend. Customs vary locally in German-speaking countries, also local names such as Kirtag, Kärwa, Kirmes and Kilbi. In Bavaria, all Kirchweih celebrations have been fixed by royal order from the mid-19th century to the third Sunday in October (originally in order to roll back extensive local Kirchweih tourism having gotten out of hand in the government’s eyes).”
The above definitions are taken from two entries on Wikipedia.
Kirchweih for me is the single most important annual celebration that keeps me tied to my ancestral roots. The Tracht or Traditional costumes that are worn are most beautiful. We practice this custom on the East Coast, on the West Coast and in many locations in between. However, we have never, to my knowledge, celebrated this Fest all together at one location. This is the time to bring this event together: Allgemeine Amerikanischer Kirchweih!
You can see above in the Wikipedia definitions that the event is traditionally connected to an individual town or village; but for the current first, second and third generation Schwowe this is something we all do. Our parents, their parents and so on, have celebrated Kirchweih! We want our children, their children and so on, to continue celebrating Kirchweih!
The opportunity has arisen: We will be celebrating with Kirchweih Dancers, and a Strauss at the Trenton hosted Landestreffen of the Verband der Donauschwaben, U.S.A. on Sunday September 4th, 2022, at 12:00 PM, following Mass.
Please refer to www.trentontreffen.com and check out the schedule. The event begins on Friday and finishes up on Sunday Evening. There will be lots of activities, Beer, Wine, Wurst, Music and Dancing.
If you haven’t been to Kirchweih in a long time, or you’ve never been, this is your chance! Don’t put it off until the “next time.” I encourage you! You will not be disappointed!
See you in Trenton!