You are wrong if you picked Oktoberfest as the biggest party in Germany…
If one were to set up a poll to inquire what is the biggest party celebrated each year in all of Germany… the overwhelming response would likely be Oktoberfest - however that answer would be incorrect by a long shot.
The correct answer is an annual event that takes place not during the fall, spring or summer seasons either but rather towards the end of the winter season that starts late January and continues into early February.
It’s called Fasching - or Germany's version of the American Mardi Gras that's so popular and world reknown in New Orleans, Louisianna - USA.
Fasching is celebrated throughout greater Germany from Jan. 31 (known as Fat Thursday) through Feb. 5 - and this party involves millions of people, from different regions scattered all across Germany from localized communities to big cities not to mention the throngs of tourist during this festive period.
Much like Mardi Gras, Fasching has it’s roots entrenched in the Christian Catholic Church and has evolved into a wild celebration to partake in colorful parades, costume balls, special events and outright undomesticated partying before Lent begins.
It’s interesting to note that preparations for all the parades, balls and festivities actually begin in the 11th month, on the 11th day, at the 11th hour to ready for the upcoming Lenten season. When the Fasching festivities officially begin, all scheduled events each day start off at precisely 11 minutes past the 11th hour.
Depending on what region of Germany you are in, the name of this “foolish or silly season” celebration is known by different names other than Fasching and celebrated in different ways according to the different localized traditions.
Names of this massive celebration throughout Germany include:
The history of Fasching goes way back to pagan times as parade participants would wear ugly masks as a way of driving out the darkest of evil spirits of winter and encouraging the coming of spring and bountiful crops. To disguise their social backgrounds, the poor would also wear colorful mask, costumes and props to mix with the higher society to share in all the fun and excitement. These colorful costumes and mask would be made up to resemble abstract animals, kings, knights, princesses, damsels and priest with special lampoons of local politicians featuring over-sized heads in caricature forms.
You can find several German-American sponsored Fasching festivals taking place all across the USA from coast to coast!
GermanNationUSA is the Official Site of German-American Tourism & Commerce within the USA.
Discover Amerika… visit Germany stateside!
Also be sure to visit www.GermanAmericanFaces.com to connect socially with other German-Americans from across the USA to discover faces, places and heritage…
GermanNationUSA is the Official Site of German-American Tourism within the USA.
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