August 14, 2010 by Fr. Andrew
Some years ago a resident of Emmaus said to the writer in her native dialect [Pennsylvania German], “Heit iss der Hussedaag” (Today is Huss Day). I asked her what that meant. She did not know, but said that they always sowed their turnip seed on that day. Thus did the memory of John Huss, the great pre-Reformation reformer, find a place in our local folklore.
—Preston A. Barba, They Came to Emmaus (1959)
Emmaus residents: Make sure you plant your turnips on July 6, the day Jan Hus was both born and burned at the stake (1373 and 1415, respectively). (Wikipedia claims he was born “ca. 1372″ with no actual date listed. I’m not sure of his source, but I like Barba’s claim that July 6 is also Hus’s birthday.)