1 Jan 2013

On New Year’s Day, the herdsmen blew their horns



A commons new year.  Having defeated the feudal lords the German commoners ran their own communities and celebrated.  I liked this from The Wealth of Commons book.

Community life was lively and featured an annual procession around the boundaries of the village and the lands belonging to it, a communal drink after auditing the common box (the community funds). Folk customs were combined with the common pasture. To the peasants, the bell that the village bull wore around his neck on the pasture signaled, ‘the reeve is coming, the reeve is coming!’ (The reeve kept the community’s breeding bull.) On New Year’s Day, the herdsmen blew their horns, went from door to door and sang their songs, asking peasants to give them something – such as their best-smoked sausages. The gifts were considered an expression of the peasants’ esteem for the community employees’ careful handling of their livestock. (Zückert 2012)

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