Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day


For Valentine's Day we share with you our Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Sign, representing Love, Family and Friendship.  The birds are partridges called 'distelfinks'.  The Pennsylvania Dutch are descendants of German, Swiss and Dutch who emigrated to the United States prior to 1800.  These include but are not limited to the Amish, Dunkards, Mennonites and Bretheren.  You can see that this one was designed by Jacob Zook.Traditionally Hex Signs are placed on buildings to keep out evil.  You mostly see them over barn doors and in the eaves of houses.  I keep mine in the kitchen of my home.  I had it for years before I actually got married.


  1. Well, being a Dutch birdwatcher...
    A "Distelvink" is definitely not a partridge, but a goldfinch ( carduelis ). "Love" is mostly represented by pigeons - but I think they all are lovely!

  2. Yes, I did look it up before posting and technically a distelfink is a goldfinch....but these birds are almost always blue in American Hexes, and if you ask they tell you that the blue birds are partridges. They probably substituted the common local Pennsylvania bird for the ones they were familiar with at home, but kept the old name.

    Many things were 'lost in translation' across the ocean, especially pre-1800. Just as the term 'Dutch'in America generally refers to German immigrants of the 18th and 19th Centuries because it was easier to say than the proper term 'Deutsch'. And there is you lesson in American English for today ;=)