From Middle High German kirmesse, contraction of kirche (“church”) + messe (“mass”), referring to annual solemn masses on the anniversaries of the consecration of village churches (contemporary Kirchweihfest), which developed into major village festivals. Compare the same in Dutch kermis.
Kirmes f (genitive Kirmes, plural Kirmessen)
- The word is common throughout western and central Germany. It is also used in some parts of northern and southern Germany, but may not be familiar to speakers from certain regions.
- Kirmes in Duden online