Monday, February 27, 2012


Buergbrennen 2012 - Picture courtesy 
As tradition has it, a straw man complete with suit and hat (Stréihmännchen) is burned every Ash Wednesday in Remich, a small city on the Moselle river. This year, a leap year, a straw woman (Stréihfrächen) was paraded around town, set on fire and thrown in the river. This symbolizes the end of Carnival and the burning away of all sins.
Last Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, torch-lit parades were held and public bonfires were kindled in many parts of Luxembourg where giant crosses and remains of Christmas trees were immolated.

These Lenten fires combine Christian and pagan traditions and go back to rituals which were intended to chase away winter and welcome spring, ensuring the fertility of fields and livestock. 
Both events are fun and entertaining. Food stands offer local fare and drinks

Picture courtesy

In the US we have Hoodie-Hoo Day. This little known holiday is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere on February 20. People go out at noon, some wearing funny and unusual hats, wave their hands over their heads and chant “Hoodie-Hoo". It is a day to chase away winter and usher in spring. According to myth, the Hoodie-Hoo is a spirit who lives in the forest. With some urging on or about Feb. 20, it awakes, emerges from the wilderness and chases winter into seclusion.


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