Today is the the start of Fasching! It reminds me of Marti Gras or the begining of the lenten season! We went to a parade today with some friends who are over here from John Deere! They have some co-workers who's house was right on the parade route so we went along with them and had a wonderful time. Lucy got LOTS of candy and everyone decided to take a nap after we got home.
Carnival or Mardi Gras goes by many names in German, depending on the region and dialect: Karneval (Rhineland, former Roman settlements), Fasching (Austria, Bavaria, Berlin), Fastnacht (Baden, Switzerland), Fosnat (Franconia) or Fasnet (Swabia). Whether it's Fasching or Karneval, it is a time to let off steam and live it up before the Lenten period that once called for fasting (die Fastenzeit). It is this fasting tradition that gave the celebration its Fastnacht name ("night before fasting"). In the 15th and 16th centuries, amusing plays known as Fastnachtspiele were performed during the pre-Lenten season. Today there are elaborate parades (Umzüge) in all the large and small communities where Fasching is celebrated.
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