The Swabian bonfire (or "Funkenfeuer" in German) is an old rite that only exists in some parts of Central Europe nowadays.
On "Funken" sunday (first Sunday after Ash Wednesday) a fire will be burned down to signalize the end of winter. Usually a witch is mounted on top of the fire. Don´t ask me why, but this has to do with the persecution of witches in the older days, I guess.
This actually was my first bonfire for more than 10 years. I always missed the previous ones.
Location: Westallgäu, southern Bavaria, Germany.