On Tuesday, I was in town studying for me Political Science Oral Exam. I was upstairs in one of the classrooms reading and taking notes when all of a sudden I started hearing a crowd of people and a marching band coming down the street. I looked outside and there was a parade going on, on the Hauptstraße (main street).
They were celebrating the last day of Fastnacht (Carnival) before lent. Fastnacht (fas-na-kt…something like that) in Germany begins on November 11 at 11:11am and ends on Ash Wednesday.
This was in interesting and entertaining experience for me. People on the floats were chucking loads of candy, fake snow, and popcorn at the audience. Some would toss it underhand to them but most people were basically pitching fast balls at the crowd. One person threw some upstairs at me out of nowhere!
People were screaming out the same phrase over and over again. According to my roommate (German born and raised, haha), each town has their own chants that they shout out. What he thinks I heard was “Helau” (pronounced something like ha-l-ow. The “lau” sound is like “loud” without the “d”.) and it doesn’t have a translation as far as we know.
And there were creepy things going on too. There were ugly creatures like witches, werewolves, and some other kinds of monsters all around. You can see in one of the pictures that they kidnapped some people from the crowd and took them on the float with them. These are called “Stabhalterei” (schtop-hall-ter-rye) and they are organizations. I can’t quite remember the history but these monsters are used to scare off winter.
This event is essentially Halloween with a parade. Anyway, I have two exams to go! I’m going to post pictures of my school really soon. This event just took priority though. Peace!
Wikipedia page gives more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_in_Germany,_Switzerland_and_Austria
You can watch two videos I shot of the parade: