Goose-Pulling Festival in Germany & the Netherlands
A disturbing event takes place each year on Shrove Tuesday in several towns throughout Germany and the Netherlands. This highly-controversial festival has made a slight adjustment since it began in the 17th century, but the overall concept remains the same: a goose is hung upside-down from a wire or strong rope and participants yank on it in an effort to separate the goose’s head from its body.
Originally, the poor animals were alive for this; now animal rights activists got the event to switch to geese that are already dead. Multiple towns practice this blood sport – some ride by on horseback and try to pull the bird’s head off; others just step right up and try to yank it apart.