The Kite Beheading

The Kite Beheading

Datum des Ereignisses

Von: 2015-05-16

Bis: 2015-05-16

The Kite Beheading

     The origin of the unusual custom of kite beheading is quite enigmatic and mysterious. Most probably it is connected with the cult and magic of vegetation and fertility. It cannot be regarded as a phenomenon attributable exclusively to the region of Kashubia, having been observed in other parts of Slavdom, and also in Germany.

Originally a rite, this custom in Kashubia was commonly known and practised at the turn of the 20th Century, mainly in its northern regions. Traditions associated with it date back to the mid-19th Century; and thanks to a group of researchers and folklorists the custom was revived in 1930s, and has continued to this day here and there.

This rather dramatic spectacle focusses on the accusation and punishment of a kite, which epitomises all evil, misfortunes, magic spells, droughts and floods. Having been caught, the kite - the actual bird of prey or its counterpart (a pigeon, a hen, a crow or a clay-made image) - is flaunted ceremoniously around the village, charged, and then beheaded and buried, a rite believed to attract luck and prosperity.