Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday afternoon at the Rottweil Fasching Parade

It seems that Germans love their "fests" (but the good news is that we Americans love going to them!!) This weekend is "Fasching" in Germany, especially celebrated in the southern part of Germany where we live. Fasching season, also called "Fastacht", "Karneval", "die naerrische season" or "the foolish season," is the season when the Germans "loosen up" and go a little "crazy" in terms of dressing up (usually as clowns, witches or jokers), for a few days before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. There are "Fashing Umzug" parades going on in every little town in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg (of which Stuttgart is the capital) at this time of year. The best way to describe Fasching is like Mardi Gras in Louisiana (there is a recurring theme here, I know!!) Basically, the festival season is religious based, and linked to the Lenten season in terms of the concept behind letting loose before fasting before Easter. Just like in Louisiana, there are fasching clubs which organize the parade groups and costumes, and the parade participants throw goodies like candy to the crowd. Unlike Louisiana, however, most of the parade is walked on foot, and a traditional thing to do here is for the partipants to carry "besen" (feather dusters basically) and sort of wave it in your face and tickle your nose (seriously). We also saw some of the "clowns" go up to random people and "hug" them and rub their face makeup on the other person (Zev tried to avoid this at all costs!) The town in which we saw the fashing parade seen above, is Rottweil, which is the oldest town in Baden-Wuerttemburg and also the town that gave the world the Rottweiler dog. It certainly was a very pretty, historic town, and it was neat to see this historic event first hand. Rottweil's Fasching parade is one of Germany's oldest and some of their "signature" events at their Fasching parade is the "Fool's Dance" (basically a hop/ skip deal) and they all say "hu, hu, hu" when they walk through the crowd. Hard to describe, but you will be able to hear a bit of it on the video. Germans certainly love their fests....the next fest we hear is "Fruhling" or Spring fest.....until our next installment, ALL THE BEST!!! Huuuu Huuu...

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