Drive Away the Winter Blues — It’s Fasnacht Time!

by Rebecca A. Watson on February 17, 2015

in Germany, outdoors, travel

My dear friend Amy is visiting from Colorado, so this will be pretty short. She used to live in Freiburg, so she’s back to celebrate her favorite German holiday, Fasnacht.

It’s similar to Carnival in many other places. Pagan rituals, witches, fire, candy and music. So right up my alley.

waffles at rosenmontag

And clearly Amy and Ashley’s as well. Waffles anyone?

The entire thing is made up of parades in different villages. And it’s all outside, oftentimes at night. In the mountains. No wonder there is fire involved. Because ladies and gents, it is cold out there.

This video is the end of my favorite parade so far, the torch parade in Elzach, where the marching bands play the same song over and over, the Narrin dance with torches and slap people with inflated pig bladders, and the whole thing is led by a big black devil with a pitch fork. At the end they throw their torches in a pit and dance around it. What’s not to love?

This is one of my favorite things about the Germans. I’ve heard them say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” There is nothing that keeps them indoors it would seem. So when it Rome (or Denzlingen) …

There is something really special about sharing something miserable, like the dead of winter, with several folks and feeling somehow like you’ve beaten it. I mean, when was the last time you voluntarily stood out in the cold for hours when the mercury dropped below freezing?

It bonds you together, I’m telling you. And then when it’s over and you go your separate ways, your feet slowly thaw and you have nothing but fond memories, great photos and maybe some gummi bears.

narin n me denzlingen fasnacht

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

SueW February 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm

I LOVE “Lucid” thoughts from a modern day witch.
I also think we need something like Fastnacht here in NJ. It would seriously help me get through this brutally cold winter 🙂


Rebecca A. Watson February 20, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Oh yay! I am glad you like the change. So much more me, wouldn’t you say? And yes, absolutely you need a Fasnacht in NJ. Do you not have any winter carnivals or anything? Winters need a little silliness to get you through, I think.


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