Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What are you doing for Karneval/Fasching/Fasnet/Fastnacht/Whatever?

Every year we have some vague yet grand ideas about exciting places to go for Karneval/Fasching - but we haven't actually left Heidelberg for it again since the first year we were here. Usually it just creeps up too quickly and we're left thinking, "Karneval is today?!" This year it falls a bit later and we have a little more time to end up still deciding to do nothing but catch a few cruddy hard candies at the Heidelberg parade. I've actually started to recognize some of the people in the parade because they're in it every year! Every year we consider going to Rottweil, but it takes a while to get there. This year we also considered Mainz, which is a big Karneval town and only about an hour away by train. But, there's that - the train. Having had class there during big party times, I know what those train rides are like. FULL, and TRASHED! I think I might be getting too old to feel like dealing with the drunk train.

I don't know. What are you doing? Any ideas?


  1. Blergh. I've been beaned in the face by crappy candy too many times at Faschingszugs to have any desire to go. Unless I get a fencing mask for Christmas one of these years...then we might be in business.

  2. Last year we got Sarah beaned in Nürnberg. They had a Zug through the Altstadt in snow. It was cold and it kinda sucked. I mean, the whole experience. The Zug itself was OK I guess.

    Might be a lot better if the weather's nice and the Faschingszug is not the main event.

    I hear you on the Chunder Express tip. Inevitably some comes to visit us from the US during Ofest season and the trains are full of Wies'n Shouters and Hoochies. Not my scene anymore (really, not even then).

  3. Cliffy, I'm loving your drunkspeak vocab. "Beaned"? Are you sure that doesn't mean "jittery from coffee"?

    "Chunder" is an Australian expression, FYI.

    I have previously observed---rather like Eskimos have 20 words for snow---Australian have an extensive vocabulary for vomiting, often from drunken-ness.


  4. Well, I live in Mainz, and I plan on not leaving the house at all during Fastnacht, if at all possible.

    Last year we had a wheat beer tasting at our place on the same day, and by the end of 20 varieties we were drunk enough to want to go into town and look at the scene. It was pretty insane. I didn't even recognize the city. Def not my kind of holiday. I think you'd have to be pretty brave to take a train to another city to experience it.

  5. Expats Again: No, I think those would be too much for me, and are also pretty far for a day trip! Have you?

    Sarah: Ouch! You have to have the upside-down umbrella as protection. :)

    Cliff: The party trains are pretty awful. There is no escape.

    Gorilla: Shoot, I was hoping Mainz would be a sort of poor-man's version of Cologne, a little calmer. It doesn't sound like that's the case though.

    What I really prefer is something more southy like the thing we went to in Endingen. More pagany costumes, less beer/fratty atmosphere - more Fasnet, less Karneval. Which is why Rottweil keeps coming up for us...it's just sort of a pain to get to.

  6. Meh. I'm in Cologne right now and it's crazy and disgusting. The tram on the way to work this morning was already a sea of spilled beer and broken glass. Not to mention the innenstadt is a roving mess of drunk costumed people, vomit, and trash. SO not my scene. My plan? After work tomorrow night I'm going home for the weekend and I'm not stepping a foot in Cologne until Tuesday morning when I have to return to work. :-) I so don't get this "holiday" and the stupid costumes.

  7. Basel!!! Alemannische Fastnacht!

    It's a on different calendar/timeline though. But as real as it gets!

  8. Just, an FYI for resonearth -- Carneval ends Wednesday so Tuesday will be even greater insanity than you might think :). Enjoy Cologne! Carneval is always soooo much fun. And expats again, if you want tips, you know where to find me!

  9. We took my 4YO to the Berlin Fasching parade. B wanted to wear his new Star Wars costume so we figured we might as well wear it at an appropriate venue. :)

    The other Berliner parents at his kita SCORNED (seriously- I have never seen them so animated!) the parade when I told them I was going and the fact that Berlin was celebrating at all!

  10. We've been to one small town parade in Baden Wuerttemberg and are going to the Weil Der Stadt Parade on Sunday (the biggest in the Stuttgart area) and I'm going to the Stuttgart one on Tuesday, so lots of Karneval, but not in Cologne this year, although I'd love to check it out - at least once.

  11. We originally planned to sit it our this year. But, we have friends in Wiesbaden with an apartment on the parade route, balcony included. That's where we'll be on Sunday.

  12. I think the folks on this board will appreciate what I learned today. The word "carnival" is derived from the Latin words Carne (meat) and vale (leave behind). I like this especially because of the Spanish connection (carne + llevar).

  13. My German teacher talks about people fleeing from that area to here to get away from it:-).
    We have taken the kids to the parade here in Berlin in the past, but this is not a real Fasching city and we have Purim coming up later this month.I have been told that the politicians brought Karneval from Bonn when they were forced here into exile after the Wende and real Berliners think it out of place.

  14. I had planned on going away for a day or two, but have just cancelled those plans. I worked tons of overtime from right after I returned from Asia until last week, so decided that I'd like to just chill for the long weekend and catch up on some writing, etc.

  15. I was hoping to do Karneval in Köln this year, but ended up being sent to Kurdistan for a week.


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