The Zwiebelkirchweih (“Zwiebelkerwe”, or in English “Onion Tart Parish Fair”) takes place every year on the 24th of August in the Semmelstraße and is the traditional conclusion of a pilgrimage that started in 1647 and continued every year from August 20 to 24 from Würzburg. The route leads from Kreuzberg in the Rhön and back, it is lead by the “Brotherhood to the Holy Cross”. It’s a 180 km long walk, with singing and praying, and the pilgrims stay overnight in private homes on their way.
Hundreds of pilgrims are received in the early afternoon by their relatives and friends. It is custom to hand over small bouquets – “Wallsträußli” – to pilgrims as they pass through Semmelstrasse. The pilgrimage ends with a sacramental final blessing in Würzburg Neumünster Church.
We are sometimes there to visit family and the Schwarzmann Girls. The Hotel Stadt Mainz usually sells their famous Zwiebelkuchen (Onion Tart). They skipped last year because their beloved mother died, and there was too much work involved. Other Restaurants and Cafes took over this tradition in the Semmelstrasse.
Also see “The Schwarzmann Girls”
From Schwarzmann Biography: “There was a lot to do every year at the traditional Zwiebelkirchweih (Onion tart Parish fair), when the Kreuzberg Pilgrims returned to Würzburg after their long hike and stopped at the Hotel Stadt Mainz in the Semmelstrasse. Around 2,000 onions had to be peeled by hand, with many tears, before our father minced them into tiny pieces, faster than any machine. At that time, there weren’t any tables or benches on the street – everything was crowded in the dining room”
Today, after the procession, tables and benches are placed by the shops and inns on the sidewalk and street. At a Food stand in front of Hotel Stadt Mainz the traditionally Zwiebelkuchen is served.
Most active pilgrims take on the Zwiebelkirchweih and refreshments after the exhausting 180 km (112 miles) long walk