Birds’ Wedding – Sorbian Traditions

The city of Görlitz lies in Lusatia – a region that is found in the area where Germany, Poland and Czechia meet and is home to the ethnic group of Lusatian Sorbs. They speak their own language (Wendish) which is officially recognized as a minority language in Germany. In nearby cities like Bautzen, Wendish is still taught to children in schools.

Every year on January 25th there is a cute tradition celebrated in this region called “Vogelhochzeit” (or Bird Wedding). This tradition is mostly celebrated by children in school. They dress up and sing songs or perform plays about the story of the Bird Wedding, including a popular children’s song called “Vogelhochzeit” that tells the story of the wedding of two birds: a male thrush (die Drossel) and a female blackbird (die Amsel).

On the evening of the 24th of January, children put plates out on windowsills or in front of doors with the hopes that the birds will leave some of the treats from their wedding behind in thanks for the children having left food out for the birds throughout the winter. In the morning they find sweets and baked goods in the shape of birds and birds’ nests on the plate.

Make sure to stop by a bakery if you happen to be in the area of Görlitz on January 25th so that you can enjoy one of the many sweet, bird-themed delights available for purchase.

Listen to “Vogelhochzeit” video with lyrics on YouTube

See children in traditional Sorbian attire celebrating Vogelhochzeit on YouTube