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Festivals of Western Europe

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Author Topic: Festivals of Western Europe  (Read 3218 times)
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« Reply #60 on: April 29, 2009, 03:25:09 pm »

 In parts of the Harz Mountains, noted for the breeding of song birds, members of the local Finkenklubs, or Finch Clubs, enter their birds in singing contests. The winning bird's cage is decorated with flowers. Later in the day the villagers assemble to sing the old folk songs of the district.

    A Pentecost Bride and Bridegroom are features of the celebration at Kotzting, in Franconia, which is noted for the colorful procession of some two hundred horsemen, who perform the annual Pfingstritt, or Pentecostal Ride. The horsemen, led by the priests carrying church banners and crosses, make a pilgrimage to the Steinbuhl church in the Zeller valley.

    Deldesheim in the Rhenish Palatinate, is famed for its annual auction of a buck goat at Pentecost. This custom dates back to the early fifteenth century. According to tradition Kaiser Rupprecht commanded, in 1404, that the city of Lambrecht should each year provide a buck as tribute for use of the Deidesheim forest and pasture lands. The ancient custom has been observed for over five hundred years.

DER MEISTERTRUNK (The Master Draught), in Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber, State of Bavaria Whitsuntide

    Each Whitsuntide the ancient city of Rothenburg honors the memory of Georg Nusch, the man who, in 1631, took one of the most famous drinks in history and so saved the town's councilmen from death and her inhabitants from humiliation. The celebration takes the form of a historical pageant in which over a thousand of Rothenburg's citizens reenact, in colorful period costume, the drama of the siege of their city in the Thirty Years' War.

    According to legend General Tilly's victorious army stood within Rothenburg's walls and declared that all members of the town council were to be hanged. Moved at last by the entreaties of the councilmen's wives and daughters, the enemy general finally changed the sentence and declared that only four councilmen, chosen by lot, would be put to death.

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