Tag Archives: What is Fasching

Marti Gras-German Style

5 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 Now that the Pre-Easter time is upon us, I want to share a memory with you.

We were blest with being able to live in West Germany for a total of six years. We spent three years in Wiesbaden, then 10 years later, we returned to Germany for another three years in Heidelberg.   Both tours of duty were precious to us. God gave us the opportunity to live in a country that wasn’t our native land, to see the beauty of other parts of the world, and to know another culture. I wish every American citizen could have that experience – to see the United States from the viewpoint of other countries. It certainly helped us to see what a wonderful and free country we live in.

One memory has stayed with us, that is a most fun memory. Our first Easter-time in Heidelberg came, and we learned of a Marti Gras parade planned for downtown Heidelberg, along the fussganger (literally foot street – no vehicles allowed). The girls and I wanted to attend, but Fred was unable to get away from his job.

We actually lived not too far from downtown, but had planned to take the local bus down. We started out walking, but every time we saw a bus approaching, it was absolutely packed with people, and driver just shook his head at us. So we eventually walked our way downtown.

There had been a few rumors that, if the U.S. military band marched in the parade, as planned, reprisals against them would happen. It made us a bit apprehensive, but then decided to go, anyway. As it turned out – no mishaps, and we were grateful.

 

1

Credit Google Search

We found a spot on the sidewalk and planted ourselves there. As it turned out, there was a tiny German grandmother standing just in front of us. She probably didn’t reach my shoulders, even with her sensible heeled shoes on. She walked with and supported herself with a cane. We found it amusing that, when some teenage girls tried to stand in front of her, she poked them with her cane and told them to “get lost” (my words). They moved!

And then the parade started. It was a fun-filled parade, and we enjoyed the floats – and the U.S. military band – very much. Those on the floats would throw candy out along their way. I encouraged our girls to pick up what they could (each piece was wrapped). And then this sweet little lady would look at our girls and point out – with her cane – pieces of candy they had missed. When I suggested they offer some to her, and they did, she just smiled and shook her head.

 

2Credit Google Search and Dreamstime

I guess one of the most fun things that happened, was when the parade had slowed down (as parades happen to do occasionally), and one of the men on the float in front of us jumped off, came over to the little lady, took her chin in his hand and said “Oma!” – that’s German for “Granny!” She ducked her head, turned to us slightly, and just blushed with a grin on her face! It was adorable.

As the parade was finishing and the crowd began to disperse, we thanked her with our limited German. She just made the experience for us.

What a wonderful memory. Both of our daughters remember that experience, and we treasure it.

Here are some definitions to help you out:

Fasching: pre-Lenten festivities celebrated in grand style in mostly the predominantly catholic regions of the German-speaking countries.

Fasching is Germany’s carnival season. It starts on the 11th day of November at exactly 11minutes after 11am and ends at the stroke of midnight on Shroud Tuesday – often referred to as Fat Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday).

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