Yuletide Sock Drive

Socks are one of the most requested items at homeless shelters, but they are also one of the least-donated items.

From December 17, 2016 (Krampuslauf Philadelphia: Parade of Spirits) through January 1, 2016, Distelfink Sippschaft will be collecting new, unworn socks for folks in need. We need all sizes, from baby to adult male. Practical socks, fun socks, fuzzy socks, holiday socks, argyle socks are all needed!

Stock up stacks of socks and stockings and help to bring warmth to the feet of those in need this Yuletide!

Contact Robert L. Schreiwer (schreiwer@urglaawe.org) for collection sites. The first location will be at Parade of Spirits/Krampuslauf in Liberty Lands Park (December 17, 2016 at 3:30 PM, Liberty Lands Park, Philadelphia, PA).

Donations will be directed to homeless shelters in the Delaware Valley.


Still Adding to the Lexicon

Lest folks think that this site is inactive, please visit the listings of words that are missing from the dictionaries. We are still adding to them!


Photos from Krampuslauf Philadelphia 2015: Parade of Spirits

Most of our photos came from the preparation period because it was difficult to take photos while marching, but there were other people taking photographs of the parade along the marching route. Hopefully we will be able to share more in the future. Featured in our photos are Mike Hicks in his debut in the role of Belsnickel. Robert L. Schreiwer reprised his 2013 role as Gedreier Eckhart, the leader of the Wild Hunt from Deitsch lore. Andria Carpentier marched as a spirit in the Hunt and assisted others with makeup. Corrine Johnson delighted the crowd with her stunning handmade Yule Cat (from Icelandic lore) costume. Joe Barrett and other folks formed a group of Yule Lads. 

Channel 17 has some great pics posted, particularly from the fire performers!

Once again, Krampuslauf Philadelphia: Parade of Spirits has exceeded our expectations. This wondrous, grassroots, community- and participant-driven event continues to grow and to flourish in the City of Brotherly Love.


Old Deitsch Units of Measure

Occasionally, we come across old units of measure that are not commonly known anymore. These units appear most in Braucherei and Blanzeheilkunscht (herbalism) contexts, but they can also turn up in other segments of the Deitsch culture, too. Some, particularly Loth, Blech, and Zoll, still turn up as live units in some charms and recipes, though the content of each as a unit is not always consistent in different areas.

These units are complicated by very few stated conversions historically. The list is further complicated by similar names in obsolete German units of measurement, many of which range widely from one region to another. There are some references to the English equivalents of some of the Deitsch measurements. For example, one may find a description of the Fuus and Baufuus measurements in the Autumn 1969 issue of Pennsylvania Folklife.

An ongoing list of the old Deitsch measurement units appears on the Maaseenheide page of the Blanzeheilkunscht site.



On this date in 1683, the first permanent settlers arrived to Philadelphia, marking the beginning of the great migration from the German-speaking lands.

Hail to those who made the voyage and laid the foundation!


Deitscherei Nation in Europa Universalis IV

It is worth noting that the term "Deitscherei" now exists as a playable nation in the video game Europa Universalis IV. This makes me smile!

I first coined the term "Deitscherei" in 1988 in order to refer to the non-contiguous areas that were settled heavily by the people who came to be known as the Deitsch. The first Deitscherei website went up in 1996, and, since then, the term has become used more widely.

As I linked to their page, I hope they will not mind if I share a screenshot of the Deitscherei nation in their game.

We've made it to video games!

Good Article about the Colonial Deitsch

Here is a good article describing the Colonial Deitsch... and it also reflects why Benjamin Rush has long been seen as a friend of the Deitsch people: The Life of the German Settlers in Colonial Times.

For those who have never read Dr. Rush's 1789 publication, An Account of the Manners of the German Inhabitants of Pennsylvania, it is a worthy read.