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Nachtengel
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011, 11:49 AM
North Frisians lit their traditional Biikebrennen bonfires on Monday night, celebrating the new year and warding off evil winter spirits in one of northern Germany’s most important folk festivals.

More than 60 fires burned in coastal communities along the North Frisian Islands in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, in addition to some in nearby Denmark’s South Jutland region.

Since the 19th century, the Biikebrennen, which means “fire signal” in the regional dialect, has taken place on February 21 on islands such as Sylt, Amrum, Föhr, Pellworm and others, but the origins of the festival are uncertain.

Just after sunset towns and some private homes light their Biike, or fire, and some gatherings are accompanied by theatre, dance and a traditional kale dish.

More: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20110222-33267.html

A few pictures:

http://forums.skadi.net/photoplog/images/25637/large/1_9732.600.429.jpg

http://forums.skadi.net/photoplog/images/25637/large/1_9731.600.387.jpg

http://forums.skadi.net/photoplog/images/25637/large/1_9733.600.390.jpg

http://forums.skadi.net/photoplog/images/25637/large/1_9734.600.323.jpg

http://forums.skadi.net/photoplog/images/25637/large/1_9735.600.815.jpg

Ocko
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011, 12:12 PM
Fire in general stands for transformation.

The winter with its long nights and darkness is also the realm of evil spirits. They are driven out at the onset of spring to give room for the life-giving spirits of spring which envigorates nature.

fire gives light and warmth too and thus drives the cold and darkness away. It is a signal for the body that the resting time is over and that the mode for springtime is the one to be valid now.

That would be my interpretation.