Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Low Countries and in French Flanders, an annual fair and festival of a town or commune, characterized by feasting, dancing, grotesque processions, target-shooting, and other forms of amusement, which at one time reached a licentious extravagance. The kermess was originally, and is still in many places, held on the feast-day of the patron saint of the place or of its principal church, with religious observances, whence the name.
- n. A kind of entertainment, usually given for charitable purposes, in which the costumes and sports of the Flemish kermess are imitated.
“Had it anything to do with the society for which Monsieur Desvanneaux asked me to appear in a kermess?”
“Do you guarantee the solvency of this person?" demanded M. Desvanneaux, who saw the project of the kermess falling to the ground.”
“She sat down, her face turned toward the windows so that she could see all the merry-makers on their way from the village to the kermess and hear their gay talk.”
“The insolent wench looked at her derisively, and called out, "That will give you a good appetite for the kermess, Miss Prude.”
“Most of the inhabitants, with the exception of the children and decrepit old people, were more than four miles away at the kermess.”
“But the curtain rose on the kermess scene and Richard made a sign to the stage-manager to go away.”
“In the movement and the noise of the kermess she said:”
“Fortunately for his peace, his former owner was killed in a drunken brawl at the kermess of Mechlin, and so sought not after him nor disturbed him in his new and well-loved home.”
“She had neither brother nor sister; her blue serge dress had never a hole in it; at kermess she had as many gilded nuts and Agni Dei in sugar as her hands could hold; and when she went up for her first communion her flaxen curls were covered with a cap of richest Mechlin lace, which had been her mother's and her grandmother's before it came to her.”
“It was the last day before kermess away at Louvain, and the Brabantois was in haste to reach the fair and get a good place for his truck of brass wares.”
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