“Storchentag” in the Black Forest

Storchentag

Haslach, a town in the Black Forest with 7000 people celebrates end of February the “Storchentag” (Day of the Stork). Children walk through town with white bags that is led by the “Storchenvater” the father of the stork

They call “Heraus, Heraus!” (get out). Customarily, the towns people throw sweets, fruits and pretzels out of their windows.

A Legend from the middle of the 17th century, Haslach was plagued by a Vermin. The people prayed and promised to give gifts to children and the elderly on the Feast Day of St. Peter (Petri Stuhlfeier) if they were saved. Their prayers were heard and Storks ate all the vermin.

Storchentag in Haslach

Since then the people have been celebrating Storchentag usually on February 22nd. and the calendar has been off because of Covid 19. Similar traditions can be observed in some places in the Black Forest area, depending on the area, the day is called Peterlistag, Peterlesstag, Peterstag, Peterlespringen, or Schirauschag.

Children walk through the town and ask for sweets and/or donations, basically they are instrumental to clear the vermin from people’s houses and receive a small reward.

Haslach (by Wikimedia)
Haslach (by Wikimedia)

This tradition is also intended to greet the Spring

Little poems are recited, for example, in Zell the children say: Hit isch Peterlistag! Alli Krotte un Schlange verjag, un s’Ungeziefer us em Hus. Drum werfe ebis zum Lade nus!” Which means: Chase away all toads and snakes and all the vermin from the house. Therefore throw something from the window.

Storche, stork

Children were used to clear the vermin from people’s houses and received a small reward.