Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Fasching is the German version of Mardi Gras. I've never been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans (and I don't plan on going), so I don't have a lot to compare it to. My wildest Fat Tuesday experience is probably eating to many pancakes at the church pancake super. I was ill prepared for this holiday.

The streets were filled with people in grotesque costumes. So grotesque that I prefer not to record a description. Emma was so startled by these people in costumes that she has resigned herself to spend as little time outside as possible until she is certain that the "scary creatures" are gone. From every Backeri wafted the scent of Berliners (filled doughnuts and the traditional Fasching treat). It was quite a surreal experience.

I'm not sure what I expected, but it was certainly not a celebration of this magnitude. Yesterday, the city center was shut down to make way for the parade. No trains were running, few shops were open, there were so many people that it was hard to move very far without bumping into people.

In every stroller was a sleepy child, dresses in some sort of outlandish costume. Parents held the hands of children, who were bouncing from a combination of excess sugar and excitement.

I was a sight.

It must have been some a party too. About half of the class arrived late to school this morning, most looking as though though they'd had a long night.
I should have been prepared for this. I had heard what I big deal Fasching was from multiple sources. My German teacher even offered to let my class take two days off for the Fasching celebration ( thankful my class voted against this).

Anyway, Fasching....who knew? Certainly not I.


  1. Wow. How grotesque were these costumes? All I can think of is like court jesters with weird colored spandex (I think that's because when I think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I think of those masks of comedy and tragedy and then the players from Rosencrantz and Guildenestern. Don't ask, even I don't understand the inner workings of my own brain). Did you get any pictures of the celebration or parade?

  2. I don't like costumes. Period.

    They give me the shivers.

  3. When I was younger and read The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time, I was enchanted by the way Dumas described the Mardi Gras celebrations in Italy. I told my mom that I wanted to travel to Italy for Mardi Gras. She looked at me like I had grown two heads and said, "No, you don't. And you won't because I won't ever let you." :-)