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Festivals of Western Europe

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Author Topic: Festivals of Western Europe  (Read 3227 times)
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« Reply #60 on: April 29, 2009, 03:23:25 pm »

The yearly two-day carnival ceremony is impressive. Heralds dressed in three-cornered hats, black breeches, and white shirts and stockings, go about the town with the Sigmaringen standard. Accompanied by drummers and pipers, the heralds stop at the house of each eligible bachelor on their list and invite him to be brautelt, by dancing before the door. Woe to the man who refuses to participate in the ceremony, for he must pay a ransom!

    To the accompaniment of a lively tune the heralds briskly carry eligible candidates about the town pump, while their victims treat the jubilant spectators with apples, pretzels, and sausages.

And thus it always will be
As long as laughing and kissing go on;
As long as the Danube flows;
As long as the girl gets her man,

according to one old brautel song.

    Yet another Sigmaringen song has come down through the centuries. The words, which doubtless were applicable in 1648 when husbands were scarce, are hardly appropriate for the modern young woman. The song is jolly, however, and therefore worth repeating:

Let's live long and be merry.
Semmering girls set caps for the lads.
But all, alas, is useless!
Not a single girl gets a sweetheart!
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