Krakelingen Festival: Drinking Live Fish

Ever heard of the late 1930s swallowing live goldfish fad that swept the nation (well, okay, colleges)? Turns out it's a centuries-old tradition in a rural area of Belgium:

Taking a deep breath, Rudy Van Acker raises a silver chalice to his pursed lips, hesitates ever so slightly, then takes a sip before downing the contents in a couple of swift gulps.

Van Acker, the senior Roman Catholic priest in this rural area of Flanders, is undertaking one of his more unusual pastoral duties: drinking live fish, washed down with red wine.

For centuries, thousands of revelers in this part of Belgium have celebrated the Krakelingen festival - named after the bread that will be thrown to the townspeople. The pageant, commemorating the onset of spring, combines pagan and Christian symbols and culminates in the consumption of tiny live fish immersed in red wine at a ceremony presided over by three men dressed as druids.

Link (Photo: Jock Fistick/International Herald Tribune)


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I'll bet that tickles going down...

And I wonder how many people who will decry this as cruel will then go and eat a Big Mac (made from zapped and forklifted downer cows).
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I'll give them marks for trying to join religions but they're still cruel bastards. I hope they choke on one or someone gives them a candirú (Vandellia cirrhosa) otherwise known as a penis fish to swallow. They eject spines to stop them moving once they're in the opening of an animal, yes, usually the penis.
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