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Streichtag is a German term for special punishment days, a concept that was introduced in some European convent schools. The term Streich- is related to the English word "strike" and is in this context an antiquated German term for the strokes (cuts) of corporal punishment. "-Tag" means "day".

There seem to have been two concepts behind the idea of the Streichtag:

  • Either, for each individual student was recorded a list of actual punishable offenses committed. These were summed up in lists and the resulting "bill" was settled on the Streichtag.
  • And/Or, on that special day, every student was punished, guilty or not. This was a kind of maintenance spanking -- to keep the students "in line" and to punish any unknown misdeeds that had escaped the attention of the schoolmasters.

The usual flogging instrument in those days was the birch rod, and it was generally given on the student's bare bottoms.

A true story is recorded of a dramatic event that happened in the convent school of St. Gallen in Switzerland.[1] When a Streichtag came and the dreaded mass-punishments were to take place, a boy was sent to go and fetch the birch rods. Out of terror he pulled a burning piece of wood from the fireplace and put the roof on fire, shouting for help. The flames consumed several of the convent's buildings before they were put out.