Travel & Sightseeing
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The Alps are a region which have this mountainous massif in common, but differ in so many other ways. What means: there is so much to see, to visit, to experience. Places we love to go from Slovenia to Switzerland, sights we love to visit, we will share it with you in this category.
"Fasching" - The Carnival in the German-speaking Alpine region is mostly "Fasching", "Fastnacht", or "Fasnacht". In previous times there were as well carnivalesque times when the normal power structures were lifted. Today's carnival tradition rather derives from Catholic traditions, as the short abundance of food and beverage before Lent starts.
The carnival of costumes, parties, Faschings procession, Gschnas, balls and Guggamusik. The manifestations are very different in the various regions, beside partying communities can be equally true carnial grouches.
We have gathered a few interesting Carnival traditions from the Alps. If you have a good tip for interesting events and Carnival celebrations - use the comment feature at the bottom of the page.
Villach, Carinthia, Austria
The carnival stronghold, which can be compared to the German carnival strongholds (like Coloniar or cities of the Rhine-Main area), is in the south of Austria, namely in Carinthia. While some Carinthian communities argue about who rules as Austrian carnival center, we say you can have fun at each place. You best check out yourself and besure to not use "Helau" or "Alaf," but go for a loud "Lei Lei!" in Carinthia.
Bad Aussee, Styria, Austria
Bad Aussee carnival is especially known for its very characteristic mask types like the "Pless," "Trommlerweiber" (what means drum women) and "Flinserl". The Pless allegorises winter. In Barbara Frischmuths novel "Mystifications of Sophie Silver"one of the scenes takes place at such an Ausseer carnival parade with traditional figures.
Ebensee, Upper Austria, Austria
Carnival is anmed in Ebensee as the "Ebensee National holidays," and starts on the last weekend before Shrove Tuesday. The Ebensee "Fetzenfasching" (Fetzen meaning tatters or rags), has a tradition of 400 years. The highlight is the parade on Monday, it is celebrated with people in old Fezten, and with artfully carved wooden masks.
Schruns, Vorarlberg, Austria
Friendly witch-like characters on skis dirve down the slopes during carnival in Montafon, with groups still reviving a long tradition. The masks which are being used, are over a hundred years old.
Whole Liechtenstein celebrates the last days of Carnival, which start 6 days before Ash Wednesday with the so called "dirty Thursday". There are children with coal blackened faces, "Ruassla" or carnival parades. Especially Schaan should be visited these days.
Basler Fasnacht, Basel, Switzerland
The Basel Fastnacht will be held on Monday after Ash Wednesday, and so on the actual farmers Fastancht, exactly 40 days before Easter. The usual Lent which lasts a few days longer, because of the deducted sundays, which are not subordinate to the fasting. Beginning at 4.00 on Monday after Ash Wednesday and lasts until the following Thursday at 4.00. Masking is only common for the children.
When travelling to Lucerne on Carnival you can look forward to parades and all kinds of funny customs. Disguising is certainly recommended in the city. There are parades on Thursday, on Monday and the finalization of the happy days on Shrove Tuesday.
Wich wonderful alpine carnival traditions do you know of? We would be happy to add your contribution to our article or start a follow-up article next year!
Alpine Carnival Feeling with stags, deers and funky handbags