Vlšggelen

Vlšggelen

Between March 22 and April 25; Easter Sunday and Monday
As practiced in the eastern Netherlands village of Ootmarsum, the Vlöggelen, or Winging Ceremony, is believed to be the remnant of an ancient spring fertility rite. It is a ritualistic dance through the narrow cobbled streets led by eight unmarried men, linked to form a human chain that advances slowly, "like birds on the wing." The dancers enter the front doors of shops, inns, farmhouses, and barns, emerging through the back doors to the melody of an old Easter hymn with so many verses that the dancers must read the words pinned to the back of the person in front of them. Later, the men fetch firewood for a huge bonfire that night. In recent years, the tradition has drawn criticism from the Dutch Council of Christians and Jews, because the lyrics of the song blame the Jews for Jesus' death.
See also Easter Monday in the Netherlands
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 130