New Year wishes in lutheran parishes in Leszno and Śmigiel from 1670–1790. From the history of occasional literature and bourgeois customs in south-western Wielkopolska
The article examines a collection of strena printed in Leszno between 1670 and 1790 for Lutheran parishes in Leszno and Śmigiel, and currently held at the District Museum (Muzeum Okręgowe) in Leszno. The author analyses their physical form as well as their content, confronting these data with other well-known examples of such publications printed in Gdańsk, Wrocław and Zgorzelec. The publications in question did not change greatly over time, both with regard to their content and layout. The content comprised a long title containing information identifying the sender and the addressee, as well as rhymed verse dealing with thanksgiving and beseeching. In important historic moments, the anonymous authors would try to refer to the current political situation (Turkish threat, loss of independence towards the end of the 18th century). The strena published in Leszno served specific social functions: they united the parishioners, were an important element of the parishes’ charity work and a manifestation of literary activity of the clergy.