Traditionally, on Sunday after Fasching, the community of Olsbrücken observes a special custom — the burning of winter.
The hiking club Pfälzerwaldverein will co-sponsor this annual event in the village of Olsbrücken. Hikers interested in joining the spring bonfire should meet at 6 p.m. at the Dorfplatz (village square) in Olsbrücken. The mayor will hold an opening speech and village officials will sell torches for €2.
The torchlight procession will then proceed through the village up to the old sports field on Oberberg hill. The route is less than a mile long and takes about 30 minutes to complete, said Thomas Jutzy, who is in charge of hikes and publicity for the PWV hiking club.
Usually, about two weeks prior to the event, members of the hiking group start building a 15-foot-high pile of wood to be burned near the sports field. Even old Christmas trees are added to the pile.
When all hikers have arrived at the pile, they will throw their torches onto the wood, under the supervision of the local fire department. In starting this fire, winter will be “burned.”
“Our club is running a hut on that hill, where sausages and beverages will be served,” Jutzy said. “Many members to include some Americans love to be on duty and run the hut on special events.”
Organizers expect about 500 to 600 guests to join this annual event.
For more information on the event, visit www.pwv-olsbruecken.de.
Other communities in the Pfalz will say goodbye to winter with so-called summer day parades leading through the town, ending with the burning of piles or figures made of straw and wood.
In the wine-growing village of Neuleiningen, the burning of winter with a parade will take place March 10.
More celebrations will take place in Forst, Landau and Speyer.
In Speyer, a snowman will be burned. The voluntary fire department in Kollweiler will “burn winter” March 15 near the local Bürgerhaus.