curfew = die Ausgangssperre curfew bell = die Abendglocke --- GOOGLE INDEX curfew: approximately 12,300,000 Google hits
The first night of a controversial CURFEW on young people in a city centre passed without incident, say police.
Concert organizers pulled the plug on rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney after the pair defied the sound CURFEW at London’s Hyde Park, silencing their microphones at the tail end of the show.
(Chicago Sun Times)
- a rule that everyone must stay at home between particular times, usually at night, especially during a war or a period of political trouble
(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
The curfew bell has a long history. Although extinct for the most part, in the Derbyshire Peak district of the UK there is one place where it can still be heard. For almost 20 years it has been rung every Saturday night beginning on 29 September at 7 o'clock by the same person in the town of Castleton.
The tradition closes down for the year on Shrove Tuesday around the third week in February with an 11 am Pancake Bell. The Pancake Bell is another old custom that occurs on the day after Ash Wednesday, also known as Pancake Day.
The Castleton curfew bell used to be rung from the parish church to guide wayfarers safely towards a town or village as darkness fell, or when bad weather made it difficult to follow track ways. Originally though, the curfew was a signal to people to extinguish their lights and fires at the end of the day.
This was a safety measure to prevent accidental fires, dating from early medieval times when most buildings were made from timber. Until the year 1100 it was against the law to burn any lights after the ringing of the curfew bell. The word curfew comes from the French couvre-feu, the name of a cover which was used to smother a fire by cutting off the air.
So if you are within earshot of Castleton on a Saturday night between the end of September and Pancake Day, listen for the sound of the time when there were no motor cars, tarmac, street lights or mobile phones.
(source: Peakland Heritage website)
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