Faschingsdienstag

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Last Tuesday, we got a day off school as places all over Europe celebrated Faschingsdienstag/ Fastnachtsdienstag (Fasting Tuesday). This day marks the last day before the start of the Catholics’ ‘fasting period’ and is regarded as a day with very special meaning in many regions, hence the carnivals held in these places to celebrate its significance. It’s the day wedged between Rosenmontag (Rose Monday, aka. Monday before Lent) and Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday). In other words, events of the Carnival celebrations, begin on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three King’s Day) – in Germany, the traditional start of the carnival season is on November 11 at 11:11am (11/11 11:11) – and culminate on this very day.

This day may also be termed as Mardi Gras, Shrove, Fat Tuesday or Pancake (Tues)dayI, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. On this very day, at midnight, many rituals will be performed as a way to conclude the celebrations from earlier that day, i.e. the symbolic ‘burial’ of the celebratory mood.

In the spirit of celebration, I headed down to Munich’s very own Faschingsdienstag celebrations which took place on the grounds of Munich’s gorgeous Viktualienmarkt.

A little background on Viktualienmarkt… When the food market of the city had grown too large for the central square Marienplatz, King Maximilian I issued a decree in 1807 to have it moved a few metres to the south-east, to the square between Heiliggeist-Kirche and Frauenstraße. Charity buildings that had once belonged to the church were demolished to make way for the market square or “Markplatz”, which only much later came to be known as “Viktualienmarkt” or ‘victuals market’.

Over the years, the market has evolved from a farmers’ market to a popular market for fresh food and delicatessen (delicacies). It offers exotic ingredients that are not available anywhere else in the area, and is renowned for its diversity and size: 140 stalls and shops offering flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, venison and fowl, eggs, butter, honey, fish, meat, sausages, herbs, spices, delicatessens, wine and tea are assembled on an area covering 22,000 square metres!

Might I also add that one of the best falafel stands in Munich resides in Viktualienmarkt too. Can’t wait to take You there, Miriam! 😉

A golden glow spread across the sky as the sun’s brilliance powered through the clouds above us. I’ve been saying this so much to Robert… I’ve been feeling as though a part of my soul had awoken from hibernation as our recent days have increasingly been huge by the warm embrace of the biggest star in our solar system, i.e. the sun. I imagined having La+ch’s “California” playing in the background. My heart was fluttering with happiness, blessed with bliss.

Popular practices on Faschingsdienstag include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, debauchery, etc. I was pretty blown away by how seriously some people took the ‘wearing masks and costumes’ portion of this celebration.

I specifically remember a man who came dressed in a little black dress, black stocking, STILETTOS, a mask with Angela Merkel’s (FYI, she is Germany’s Chancellor) face on it and a tag on his back that read, “Germany’s Next Top Model’. It was a little ‘out there’ to say the least. Apart from ‘Top Models’, there were many colourful wigs, banana costumes (believe it or not, yes there were!!) and fancy hats to name a few!

Oh right, we had cows too! Haha!

There were many performances lined up one after another, ranging from skits to circus-type acts, speeches, dances and sing-a-long sessions. More on that in the vlog I’ve included below! 🙂

The celebrations ended in tune with Fasching traditions, i.e. with a bang!! Quite literally!! “3… 2… 1…. *poof*!!!!” Confetti everywhere! The little specks of colour fluttered, floated, danced and twisted all around me and down to my happy grooving feet.

Colours make me so childlike, so free, so incredibly happy!

The sun went back into hiding behind the grey grey clouds by the time the celebrations came to a close, but I was grateful nonetheless that the sun came out during the earlier part of the day to grace this event with some cheeriness, warmth in temperature and in colours – I’ve missed the warmer tones in my photos so sooooo much!

More shots on Flickr.

After the celebrations came to a close, we headed over to Marienplatz, where we were greeted with more colours. Bright flags had been hung outside the Rathaus and a stage complete with stereo speakers was set up right at the centre of the square in preparation for a concert (to continue the Fasching celebrations) that took place at 3pm that day.

We were headed to Galeria Kaufhof, where Robert told us that they had 70% off some costumes. Costumes were paramount for anyone intending to fully immerse into Fasching’s traditions. 😉

Here we have cat-eared Sherien, confetti-sporting Momo, cowboy Nick, sweet flowery Kate, beanie-loving Alena and sailor Robert beside a gleeful me!

We took these pictures after a quick shopping session in Kaufhof, where we were surrounded by shoppers dressed up as doctors, cats, witches, caterpillars and grapes among many many others. We walked out with shopping bags in our hands and proud smiles on our faces! I got myself a ceramic bowl from TOKYO’s most recent sea-blue range of ceramics (it has already been featured right *here*). I really couldn’t help myself! 🙈

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