Pfingstbaumpflanzen (Pentecost trees)13 Jun 2011
I've mentioned the Pentecost traditions in our village in previous years. This year there seems to be a revitalized interest in village activities, for example the Dorffest was newly organized and was a huge success with 10x the turnout of previous years. Last week a brochure (Pfingstbaumfplanzen as PDF) was distributed to all houses explaining the tradition of planting Pentecost trees, which in our area is unique to our village. Here is my attempt at a translation.
Since Pentecost is almost here, we would like to explain to you, the new residents of the village, the custom of planting Pentecost trees (Pfingstbaumpflanzen) and to you, the old residents, to remind you of the history.
The custom of planting Pentecost trees descends from an old tradition, in which the young men of the village, starting in the year in which they are confirmed, can participate.
They went from house to house and at the front doors of those families with unmarried daughters they placed a freshly cut young birch tree and sang traditional songs in order to introduce themselves.
Today, in the time of single exchanges, personal ads and the Internet, the custom has changed.
Today, on Pentecost Saturday the bachelors of Lüllau between ages 14 as 30 go from house to house through the village and place freshly cut young birch trees at the houses and sing traditional songs. After the song the eldest recites a saying. Then the residents of the house treat the young men to a glass of schnaps or a sum of money.
These traditions are also documented in the Lüllau Chronicle.
We had schnaps and Mini-Dickmann candy ready for the men on Saturday, but they must have gotten behind schedule. We went to bed at 11 pm without having seen them, but the next morning the freshly cut birch was at our door.