Friday, March 11, 2011

Fasching

Why in the world would a banana go skiing you ask?


All over the world, the days leading up to Ash Wednesday mark a time of revelry, merry making, and celebration Some places have the honor of hosting the grandest, most spectacular festivities. New Orleans has Mardi Gras. (Belgium/France has Carnival.) Southern Germany has Fasching.

Fasching, a time of joy and occasion, in Bavaria and Austria. The word "Fasching" is derived from Fastnacht, meaning "eve of the beginning of the fast". Like so many holidays, Fasching began as a blend of pagan traditions with new Christian customs. Dressing-up as fools, clowns, or harlequins is a common characteristic that stretches far and wide across cultural and political borders in Europe. Most shops during January and February are stocked with costumes ranging from the traditional masks and ‘fools‘, to contemporary pop culture references. Costumes available in all sizes, with all of the accessories, make-up, and wigs to match, might cause an outsider to think they celebrate Halloween early.


So, it was no surprise to see Fasching celebrated on the slopes as well. We happened to be skiing over the Fasching/Carnival holiday, which was, to say the least, interesting. When I asked these people if I could take their photo, they replied in a strong European accent, “of course!…We are just like in Ameri-ka ! No?”

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