Chicago, Illinois, USA





Kirchweih in Karlsdorf

Kirchweih in Chicago

Karlsdorfer Talent

Karlsdorf Map
















We invite you to become a member of the Karlsdorf Klub.

Please contact: tina@karlsdorf.org

History of the Karlsdorfer Kirchweih

The first Sunday after the feast of Karl Borromeus was Kirchweih Sunday. On the Saturday before, young boys and girls would gather flowers and vines to decorate the Kirchweihbaum while the Kirchweihherrn (young men) brought the Baum to the 1st Kirchweihherr's house. There the young girls decorated the tree. The 1st Kirchweihherr and Kirchweihfrau were engaged to be married. At dusk, the Kirchweihherrn carried the Baum from the house to the Gasthaus in a winding procession, accompanied by musicians. [Until about 1900, the Kirchweihbaum was often placed in the market square.]

The Kirchweihbaum would then be placed in a hole already dug in front of the Wirtshaus and the young men would dance around it while the girls watched. Afterwards, they would celebrate with bottles of wine and then the day would end. There was no dancing on Saturday in the Wirtshaus itself.

In the afternoon, on Kirchweih Sunday, the young men and musicians would gather once again at the home of the Kirchweihherr, where wine was drunk and the girls would gather at the home of the Kirchweihfrau, where cake was offered. The boys then went to the girl's house where the Kirchweih couples were paired together and then led into the church. After a brief sermon by the priest, the Kirchweih Strauss and the hat were blessed. From there, the group walked to the Kirchweihbaum wherethey began to dance and the auction of the Strauss and hat would also begin-to the cry of:

'Buben, was ha'mir heit?' and 'Frisch auf mit lauter Stimme!'

was the answer.


The auction would be interrupted by the couples who danced the Kirchweihstickl and by someone who recited the many different rhyming lines of the Kirchweihspruch. After the Strauss and Hat were auctioned off, everyone went into the Wirtshaus to dance and celebrate until 3 or 4 in the morning. After every dance the Kirchweihherrn would yell 'Frisch auf mit lauter Stimme!' and in response-'Kirchweih!'



Photo: Nickolaus Polt? Courtesy Josef Bleichert

Karlsdorfer Bild Band


On Monday the young people gathered again, but this time at the home of the 2nd Kirchweihherr and Frau. Just like the first day, they went to the Wirtshaus accompanied by the musicians. On Tuesday, they would all go directly into the Wirtshaus and dance the night way. Thus, ended the Kirchweihfest.


von Hans Volk
150 Jahre Karlsdorf, 1958
Translated by Linda Byrom


©2008-2011 Karlsdorf.org