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Streichtag is an out-of-use German term for a special punishment day, a concept that existed in some medieval 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". So the whole word can be translated as "Whipping Day" or "Spanking Day".

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

  • Either, for each individual student was recorded a list of faults and offenses committed. The corresponding punishments — in numbers of strokes — were summed up and the resulting "bill" was settled on the Streichtag.
  • And/or, on that special day, every student was punished, guilty or not. The idea was that of maintenance spankings: 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.

Abbey of St Gall fire[edit]

Reconstruction of the buildings of the abbey of Saint Gall according to the historical plan from the early 9th century.

An event is recorded that happened in the Abbey of Saint Gall in St. Gallen (Switzerland) on 26 April 937.[1][2][3] It was a Streichtag and so a boy was sent to go and fetch the birch rods. The boy was so fearful of being whipped that he took a burning piece of wood from the fireplace, put the roof on fire and shouted for help. The flames consumed several of the convent's buildings before they were put out.

See also[edit]


  1. Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, c. A.D. 1050
  2. Gustav Freytag: Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit
  3. Sittengeschichte des deutschen Studententums on