Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fasching!

Today, Germany celebrated Fasching (their version of Mardi Gras). It is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent season begins.

Around here, the Germans celebrate with parades and candy and most of the schools take off. Everyone dresses up in fun costumes or just strange outfits (both those attending the parade and those in it). Various groups sign-up to be in the parade. Since ours is so close to an American military base, there were several groups of Americans involved, like Girl Scout troops and military bands, as well as, German groups.

As the floats and bands pass by you greet one another with a hearty "Ralau!" and then take cover as candy comes flying at you. (Mental note for next year: bring a bag to collect candy in! There is THAT much thrown!) They also chant something that sounds like "Allee-oop" while waving their arms in the air above their heads.

It is quite a festive atmosphere. Everyone is smiling and cheering. There are carts along the side of the parade path selling hot pretzels, fries, and beer. There were a lot of fun colored wigs that Alethia was fascinated by. And lots of loud music to bob to.

These are chimney sweeps with patches of clovers and pigs on their costumes...all considered good luck here in Germany.

We decided to attend the parade today despite how worn out Anthony and I were feeling from our long weekend with the middle schoolers and I'm glad we did because the kids really enjoyed it. Alethia dressed-up in one if her fairy dresses and Masami donned a mix of his super-hero accessories.

So, happy Fasching to all of you! I guess I need to figure out now what I'm going to give up for Lent. What are you doing?

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