While we’re on the subject of strange things Germans do at Eastertime, I should probably mention the tradition of rolling flaming wheels down hills. This one is a clip from Lügde in North-Rhine Westphalia. The idea is to stuff a wooden wheel with straw and set light to it as you shove it down a steep slope. Although this is nowadays an Easter tradition, its origins are actually older than Christianity… the symbolism is all about light returning after the Winter months.
Beats rolling painted eggs into a cocked hat!
One of the unusual events you can watch around Easter time is the strange sport practised in the village of Buldern in Westphalia. It is known as Osterhasseln. It involves two teams, one from the East and one from the West of the village lining up in the street and hurling a wooden disk (known as the Hassel) at each other. The purpose is to get the disk over a line drawn on the street which is the opponent’s territory.
Due to the high risk of bone fractures, the players tend to tape foam padding around their legs… which adds to the overall sense of the bizarre….