Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let's get candies

(Following the Fastelavn series)
The kids then headed to a hall where they found a barrel. Or more precisely three barrels, each dedicated to a particular age group.
Here I must digress. What's with the barrel? Remember the bible: 40 days before Easter, Jesus destroyed a barrel with a baseball bat. What, nobody believes me? Okay. The barrel tradition started - supposedly - in the eleventh century, the era of witch hunts. People wanted to kill witches, and well black cats too. Back then, a "fun" custom was to study the damage tolerance of a cat trapped in a barrel beaten by a stick. Who said "barbarians"?
Hence the expression "slå katten af Tonden" (literally beat the cat out of the barrel).
Today, of course, there is no more cat inside (maybe in some parts of Denmark that I don't know!), but often a picture of cat on the barrel and - of course - lots of candy.

So here is the troup ready to hit the barrel. Everything is very organized, the children are quiet and in line, each one gives a blow and pass the bat to the next kid and goes back to the end of the line.
The barrel of 0-9 years has lived a very long agony. It has taken countless shots but obviously the scouts who had assembled that barrel had done too good of a job and the poor little ones almost got exhausted before the end.

A ninja turtle fights against the barrel. A forgotten episode of the cartoon ...

All the strength of Pippi Longstocking was not enough to break the barrel ...
Luckily an adult has "helped" a little to break the barrel (I think she was eager to move on).
Finally, the barrel is broken and the children were in the starting blocks to fall on the candy (don't be afraid, there was an quiet and equal distribution, nobody got hurt!).

A barrel after the battle ... this one didn't last long.

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