Olsbruecken ‘burns winter’ Saturday

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Families watch a wood pile burn on Oberberg in Olsbruecken to celebrate the leaving of winter. The hiking club’s hut sells beverages and snacks Saturday.

Each year on Saturday after Fasching, the community of Olsbruecken observes a special tradition – the burning of winter. The hiking club Pfaelzerwaldverein will co-sponsor this annual event and offer celebrations at its forest hut.

Hikers interested in joining the “Fire for Spring” will meet at 6 p.m. in the local school yard.

“Our mayor will hold an opening speech and village officials will sell torches for a small fee,” said Ronny Faul, chairman of the PWV hiking club Olsbruecken. “We then walk in a torchlight procession through the village up to the old sports field on Oberberg hill.”

The walk is about 3 kilometers long and takes about 35 minutes.

Two to three weeks prior to the event, members of the hiking group started putting up a 4.5-meter-high pile of wood to be burned near the sports field. Even old Christmas trees have been added to the pile.

When all walkers have arrived at the pile, children will throw their torches into the pile, under the supervision of the local firemen. The fire will start, and winter will be burned.

“Our PWV hiking group runs a hut on Oberberg hill, where we serve food and something to drink,” said Faul. “Like in previous years, we expect about 500 to 600 visitors.”

For more information, visit www.pwv-olsbruecken.de.

Other communities in the Pfalz will say good-bye 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. The wine-growing communities of Neuleiningen and Forst as well as the cities Landau and Speyer will hold their winter burning celebrations March 11. Gruenstadt will burn winter after its traditional summer day parade, which starts at
1 p.m. March 12.

Firemen watch the burning of wood piles for the burning of winter celebration in Olsbruecken, which is scheduled for Saturday night. Courtesy photos