Fitting that I am writing a post about Fasching on Ash Wednesday, but that's just the way it is :)
We just made it through the 2008 Fasching season, the German pre-Lenten celebration that does not get nearly enough press throughout the world.
Depending on where you live in Germany, you could be taking part in one of many different celebrations all lumped in to this Fasching concept. In the north, Karneval (like Carnival) is celebrated from 11 November until midnight Ash Wednesday. In the south, it is Fasching or Fastnacht, depending if you are in the southeast or southwest. All celebrations kick into full gear on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which is known as "Dirty Thursday," and last throughout the weekend and Monday "Rose Monday," and Tuesday, "Fasching Tuesday."
The country retains an aire of silliness and party throughout the weekend. Many parades take place especially around us, where Fastnacht is strongly celebrated in towns in the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb.
The following are some pictures, not mine, of the typical characters you find in Swabian Fastnacht celebrations:
Okay, so there is a good reason that the above are not my pictures: I HATE FASCHING! I hate Fasching as much as Halloween, actually, I may despise this time even more. Halloween has the decency to last one night. Really, there is nothing wrong with Fasching, but it is not a thing for me.
The one thing that I found thoroughly enjoyable though was our school-wide Faschings celebration that took place this past Friday. Besides party, it is also an opportunity for kids here to dress up and have fun. Our celebration was one of the most enjoyable celebrations I have witnessed thus far at school. It was wonderful to see the kids get all dressed up. Of course, few followed the suggested circus theme, but what can you do? We made a mural, had a snack of a traditional Fastnachtsküchle (Fastnacht cake,) played games, and of course, took part in a school-wide Fasching parade.
We even were lucky enough to be visited by a witch. No, she's not a real witch, but she is a part of a club that takes part in traditional Fastnacht/ Fasching parades in the area. She even put her mask on, which the kids absolutely loved!!!
Honestly, in my 6 years here, I have never enjoyed this time of year. But after Friday, I completely (well not so completely,) changed my mind.