Alamannic Fasnet

Posted on November 2, 2011


Carnival in Germany happens at the end of winter, usually in late February or early March. Traditionally, people dressed up to scare away the demons of the winter. It’s also got something to do with fasting, but the details elude me. The Alemannic Fasnet is celebrated in southern Germany, Alsace in France and parts of Austria and Switzerland and has a fairly specific character. It starts with Weiberfasnet (I guess you could translate that as “hag’s carnival”) on a Thursday, when in theory women run around with scissors, cutting off men’s ties in an act of symbolical castration. Sadly I’ve never actually seen anyone do this. Over the weekend, parades are held in different villages and towns. Each village has a couple of Häs, traditional costumes often including wooden masks, some of which are quite old.

The bib says "Our Darling"

They carry bins...

... for the traditional hijacking of young women.

One of the reasons I stopped going once I hit puberty.

While the first one makes her escape, they already found a new victim.

The bin is relatively harmless, they also got mobile seesaws, merry-go-around constructions, wooden cages filled with hey and some kinda of tube thing which wraps victims into the type of netting used to transport Christmas trees.

See the full set on Flickr.

This is how Wikipedia describes the event, the entry was even translated into the local language.

Posted in: photos, travels