Carnival – German Style

I’m used to Carnival celebrations being Jamaican and from Brooklyn (Labor Day Parade). However, I wasn’t greeted with extravagant costumes or people dancing in the street to the familiar beats of reggae. Instead, for my first Carnival, better known as Fasching in Bavaria, I was greeted with men dressed as women, candy pelted at me, and public drinking as far as the eye could see.

It seems Fasching isn’t so big in Franconia. It’s pretty popular closer to the Rhine and Cologne (Köln) has one of the biggest celebrations in the country. I hope to go there next year to see how they get down. We headed to Würzburg, which has a decent size parade and includes groups from the neighboring villages in the parade. The sun was shining (thankfully) and the streets were crowded with spectators, police and children.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience and wanted to share some key observations:

Children and Candy

The floats we usually pulled by tractors and people on the floats threw candy at the crowds. It seems the louder you scream “Helau,” the more candy you got. Some floats had creative giveaways, such as bio crest. My fiance’s mom even caught a 500 euro chocolate bar from Milka – yummy!

Of course kids love candy. However, there’s a difference between loving candy and pushing everyone/thing out of the way to get candy which is what all the kids were doing. I’ve never been pushed around so much by a bunch of 3 year olds before. I can’t believe the parents just watch and let them do it!


Even though my fiance isn’t a fan of Fasching, he dressed up for me this year, but I am barred from showing that photo to anyone. I didn’t get too dressed up for my first Fasching. I just wore some Devil horns that light up.

Instead, I am happy to share what I considered the best outfit. These men were dressed as cleaning people and their “cart” was hooked up with alcohol and a stereo system that blasted Schlager music and some cooler tunes.

I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only person confused about Fasching festivities. Here’s a Canadian expat’s first Fasching (at a smaller location, but with tastier outcomes).

Have you experienced Fasching? What did you think of it?


2 thoughts on “Carnival – German Style

  • March 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Such an interesting read! I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one confused about Fasching. It’s amazing how different the costumes are in each area. My fiance isn’t a fan of Fasching either, but next year I’m going to make him get dressed up :)

    • March 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Hey Laurel,
      I really enjoyed your reading experience too. Next year, I want to go somewhere else and get pretzels and sausages. You probably can’t pelt them like you can with hard candy 😉


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