Säubrennerkirmes, also known as Pig Fest or Pigfestivus (hehe), is a festival that goes down in late August in the city of Wittlich. Legend has it that Wittlich was once a walled fortress constantly under attack by invaders. One evening, a guard charged with locking the gate to the besieged town couldn’t find the peg to secure the fortified door. All he could find was a large carrot (or turnip, I think the translation isn’t certain) to wedge in the door. Later, a pig ate the carrot, the gate opened and the enemy came in. After the enemy ransacked the town, the angry townspeople herded every pig into the town’s market square and roasted them. Since then, the town of Wittlich has been known as the town of pig burners.
And last weekend, we attended our first Pig Fest. On Saturday, they paraded pigs through the streets prior to roasting them on spits.
This festival is probably not so fun if you’re a vegetarian. Or if you don’t drink beer. Or if you don’t drink wine. Basically, Pig Fest is a place to eat lots of pork, drink a lot of local beer and/or wine, and collect German handcrafts that were made in China. 😉
There was also a carnival with rides and “entertainment” for all ages. I did not partake in any rides, but some of our crew did. I heard they were a bit rickety so I stayed away. I’m not a fan of rides.
I would have considered riding the big wheel if I knew that it was stable…I tend to not trust anything that can be folded up and hauled down the highway. But I’m guessing the view was spectacular from up there.
There were a lot of stands along the streets that sold beer and local wines. The way the drinks work around here is quite interesting. You purchase the drink for, say 2,50 € but if you don’t have a glass, then you must pay an extra 1 € for the cup which you can either keep as a souvenir or return and get your 1 € deposit back. It’s a pretty good system, actually.
OR, you can do like I do and buy a really cool wine glass necklace souvenir for 1,70 € and not have to pay the extra fee when you use it for your wine.
We stayed well into the evening with the squadron there before making our trek back home. When we move into our new house (this Friday) we will be a few minutes away from Wittlich, but for now, it is almost a 30 minute drive. And if you take the back way, it is even longer. The country roads here are nothing like they are in the states. They are curvy and windy, and you can always count on a hairpin turn when you least expect it. But of course there is a 100 kph speed limit…
Yesterday we were thrilled to see that, despite not being able to find a screwdriver anywhere on base, we were able to purchase The Hunger Games movie. We don’t have a DVD player, so we camped out and watched it on a laptop last night. Depressing and very disturbing, but it was still an okay movie. As usual, I liked the book better. Did I mention our DVD came with our very own RMO (round metal object, aka challenge coin)??
Oh, the joys of living at an overseas AFB. 🙂
Well, I best be going. I’m working a half day today and the rest of the week I’m up to full time so unless something earth shattering occurs in the next few days, you probably won’t hear from me until this weekend.