Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Have you always wondered why Burda magazine has costumes in the January issue? They're for Fasching, the festival time prior to Lent. Here in Stuttgart the festivities began last Thursday, with Weiberfastnacht, a day when women symbolically take over city hall and snip off men's ties in the workplace (supposedly). Throughout the weekend people dress up and party - I saw a few people dressed up and there were some rides and candy and food booths set up on the main pedestrian thoroughfare in Stuttgart. Monday is called Rosenmontag in Germany, or Rose Monday, a day for carnivals and parades and dressing up. Everything then culminates with Fastnachtdienstag or Fastnacht on Tuesday. Today there was a big parade through the downtown so I went to check it out.

There were lots of people and many, many children lining the streets. School is out, so today is a day to dress up and catch the hard candy tossed to the crowd by the parade goers. New Orleans has beads - here it's candy.

Kids and adults dress up. The stores have had costumes stocked since mid January. But NO dirndls or lederhosen - those are not costumes and they're not for Fasching!

Fastnacht costumes
A little ladybug
Adorable twins dressed for Fastnacht
Adorable twins
Fastnacht costumes
Adults dress up too

The parade consisted of musical groups:

Fastnacht Parade
Loud in both costume and sound!

Dance and acrobatic troupes of girls and women. Nearly all the groups wore braids and looked alike:

Fastnacht parade
Many little, identical snow princesses

Fastnacht Parade
Christmas-y looking
Acrobatic women

Fastnacht girls
Fancy costumes

Another prominent feature of the parade were men and women dressed as royalty or politicians. Apparently this tradition comes from after the French Revolution when the Rhineland was occupied by the French. Out of protest against French oppression, Germans from Cologne and surrounding areas would mock their politicians and leaders safely behind masks during carnival season. So I think that's what was going on with these parade participants:

Fastnacht Parade
Men in fancy hats with lots of medals and buttons

Fastnacht king and queen
Princess and the Kaiser...my guess anyway
Scary bird king
Scary raven king
Witches!! A big part (and the most fun) of these Fastnacht parades are the witches. They signify the end of winter and chasing away evil. In some parades they carry off bystanders or play tricks on them. Here in the Stuttgart parade I saw a few act a bit bawdy and one ran up and marked the hand of a little boy with green marker or paint, but mostly they handed out candy and greeted the children. Not too scary.

Fastnacht witches
These are Tuttlinger Stadthexen witches. Apparently the town of Tuttlingen had quite a lot of witch trials back in the day.
Fastnacht witches
Witch...wearing sneakers
Fastnacht witch
A male witch
Fastnacht witch or autumn tree
An "autumn" witch?
Fastnacht witches
Blond braids on these witches
An eskimo Fastnacht witch?
An Eskimo witch? That's a fish in his mouth, not a cigar.

One last picture. There were also trucks from local breweries and restaurants from which people tossed out candy. But this one was the best:

A big pig!
The balloons say "Schweine Museum." I looked it up and yes, there is a Pig Museum in Stuttgart. It's no joke that the Germans enjoy pork: schnitzel, bratwurst, schweinshaxe (ham hocks), speck...

I hope you enjoyed the parade!

I'll get back to sewing and knitting stuff with a post tomorrow (hopefully) I have one finished sewing project and some in-work knitting projects to share.

No comments:

Post a Comment