Tonight as I was coming home from hanging out with some friends, I noticed there were big bonfires happening up on the hill behind our apartment. I knew this was coming as its a tradition every year. This last week ended the celebrations of Fausnacht (similar to Carnival or Mardis Gras) in our area and this next week begins the time of Lent. Therefore tradition in our small town of Kandern has it that there’s a big party up on the hill over looking the town where they take logs, on fire, and throw them towards the town in hopes of scaring evil spirits out of the town.
Now, I don’t think these flames flowing through the air are going to scare any evil spirits but they do put a little scare into me as my place is in the direction that they are throwing these things. Now in the old days, they could barely get the glowing logs past the clearing that is below their launching point but today they are using some pretty good equipment and I’m seeing them hit some good distance. Luckily, those that are getting really serious distance (the kind that really could start hitting houses like ours) have altered their trajectories and are going into the side valley where the sheep are the only moving targets. I have a feeling as the more beer is drunk, the funnier they will think that is.
I’m not sure why this tradition is still honored as I don’t think anybody up there really believes that are getting rid of evil spirits in town (yet some might but not like it as we do have witches in town – yes, they really do believe they have special powers) but I think the idea of drinking beer and playing with fire is the primary reason. Well, just wanted to share with you some of our life here in Germany. Anything like this happen in your neck of the woods?