March in Hungary is a bad month for pigs. In villages all over the country, this is pig killing season. The season is marked by colorful, if bloody, rituals.
The condemned pig is brought out at sunrise and publicly slaughtered. His blood is immediately rushed away by the village women, who make the traditional pig killing festival breakfast of fried blood. Pálinka, explosively strong schnapps, is used to wash it down. The whole pig is used to make a range of homemade products, which will be enjoyed at the communal village feast later in the day, with much song and swagger.
Visitors (non-vegetarian only, natch) are welcome to take part in pig killing festivals. One way to participate is to contact the Lucullus Baráti Tarsaság, a gastronomy club devoted to “safeguarding traditions and disseminating information about traditional cuisines and habits,” via their colorful Web site.