Saturday, September 10th: despite the burning hot weather and the weekend fatigue, there is no rest for our tireless crew.
We hit the road early in the morning, ready to explore any traditional event, fair or festival that this culturally rich region could offer us on a sunny September weekend. We only had one thing on our minds: looking for the perfect shots for our documentary.
Our first stop: “Granny’s potato picking festival” in Burg.
The event took place in a potato field just outside the town, where a plow pulled by horses run around, digging the ground and taking out potatoes, which were then picked up by women, men and children in traditional working costumes.
The freshly picked potatoes went straight to the sizzling pans in the nearby stand, ready to be transformed into delicious potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer) by the expert hands of the German “grannies”.
Our bellies full, we jumped on the car again to get to our second destination: the village of Döbbrick (Cottbus) and its traditional Rooster Plucking, an ancient Sorbian summer ritual.
During the Plucking, the men of the village (or at least some of them) ride on horses through a gate made of intertwined leaves, placed in the middle of a field. Different goodies hang from the gate, such as packets of cigarettes, miniature alcohol bottles and the most valuable one, a dead rooster. Along one side of the field, the girls of the village, dressed in Sorbian folk clothes, stand in a line and cheer every time a Ritter (knight) rides through the gate and tries his luck.
The first prize goes to the knight who manages to catch the head of the rooster; the second and third to those who catch the wings.
By tradition, the winning knight can choose his princess from among the girls of the village and he will have to dance with her later in the evening.