"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


Fasnacht Day Parade

To continue the previous post, here are my favorite pictures from this past Tuesday's Fasnacht Day Parade. I know it seems like a ton of pictures, but the Father took a whopping 355 photos, and I thought I was doing well at narrowing it down to less than 30!

I don't know about you, but I have attended many a parade in my life, and all those parades were somewhere in the U.S. This parade, however, felt much different than any parade I've seen before. There were so many things in it that made it uniquely German and uniquely "Fasching."

The setting: Heidelberg Altstadt--beautiful historic buildings with the castle gardens in the background. (Definitely can't find that in the U.S.)

Penelope and I watching the parade (notice those blonde-wig-wearing male band members behind us)
Speaking of bands, every good parade has their share of marching bands. But the bands in this parade were a little different than the ones I'm used to. Not only did I not recognize any the of the songs they played, but they also had the strangest uniforms I've ever seen.

And just when you think this is a more typical marching band look, you spot the ginormous curly wigs.

This parade also had lots of huge flags. Most of them were flags from the local region.

There were also lots of 'floats." We couldn't figure out what group or organization they represented, but most of them were comprised of old guys with these funny hats and scarves.

Oh, and then there was the candy. Just like any good parade there was lots of lots of candy-throwing invovled. In fact, Penelope and I got pelted with the stuff on a few occasions. But some of the old men on the floats were terrible when it came to giving out candy. Just take a look at the scary guy on the left.

But this guy had the right idea. Just look at all that joy he's bringing to the world!

As soon as the candy was released, all the kids (and a fair number of adults) scrambled around on the ground to pick it up. Here's my favorite little guy, scavanging for any last remaining pieces.

But at this parade, it wasn't just candy being thrown out. This lady was handing out huge pretzels.
There was also a wagon giving out cups of hot soup, a float throwing out sprays of orchids wrapped in cellophane, and even a truck passing out cups of beer. Only in Germany, folks!

Not only was most of the music unfamiliar, but there were also several characters in the parade that seemed familiar to those around us, but utterly foreign to me. Like this group of "witches"...

and these creepy dudes...
There was one who I was very familiar with.
Yep, Obama came to the Heidelberg Fasnacht Day Parade!

There was a group dressed up like the different ingredients in a Doener (see my post from October if you don't know what I'm talking about). This lady was particularly good in her role as the onion.

And you've gotta love the cross-dressing angels.

This parade was also a bit more interactive with the crowds then I've seen before. For example, here, the angels decided to grab someone from the crowd and swing her around for a bit.

When the parade was over everyone swarmed onto the streets and mass chaos broke out.
And that was how we celebrated our first Fasching.

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