Folklore and Festivals of the Wends

Birds’ Wedding (Ptači kwas •• Vogel Hochzeit)

In the evening before January 25 children would place empty plates outside and the next morning would find the plates filled with candy or cookies supposedly left for them by the birds, who were said to be celebrating their wedding and wanted to share their gifts with neighboring humans.

Easter Water (Jutrowna woda •• Osterwasserholen)

Early on Easter morning the older girls of the community would go silently to the creek and fill a container with water. At daybreak they sprinkled the water on their sleeping family, friends, and even the livestock. This was to ensure good luck for the rest of the year. Of course if they giggled the spell would be broken.

Easter (Jutry •• Ostern)

Egg Decorating Woodcut-Art Print

Egg Decorating Print

Church services and feasting were an integral part of the annual Easter observance, but for children, the preparation of elaborately decorated Easter eggs was the highlight of the holiday. Three egg decorating techniques, Wax, Scratch and Acid, are still used in Lusatia. In Texas only the Wax Technique has been maintained. In the Wax Technique, the design is applied with wax using the tip of a feather which has been cut into various shapes.  The egg is then dipped into dye.  When the wax is later removed the natural color of the egg is revealed. Multicolored eggs are achieved one color at a time.

Noon Lady

An old legend about the Woman of the Midday was told in early Texas. She was an enemy of the people, causing heat strokes in the heat of the harvest if the workers were unable to respond correctly to her questions about the planting and harvesting of the crops.

Der Wasserman

Stories about the waterman were told in early Texas. Children were frightened by tales of this creature, which inhabited streams and ponds waiting for people to approach the water so that it could grasp the victim into its watery world.

Christmas

Christmas was the high point of the year, a time of feasting and socializing as well as attending special church services which featured recitations and religious pageants by the school children.

Wends congregated from miles around to feast and celebrate Christmas Eve together at Serbin and the other community centers.

The young people of the church were responsible for cutting down a well-shaped cedar tree from the local woods to be placed beside the altar and to decorate the church with cedar boughs. The women worked for days preparing elaborate pastries to be eaten during the many social gatherings of the season.

Rumplich

For children the frightening but hilarious visits of Rumplich were among the exciting aspect of the Christmas holiday. Young men disguised themselves in homemade masks and costumes. The leader of the group carried a long stick and they all disguised their voices so everyone would have to guess who they were. They went from house to house asking the children if they had been good during the year and what they wanted for Christmas. They sang carols and distributed candy, fruit and nuts.

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