28 February 2009

Rosenmontag

This past Monday marked Rosenmontag, the second to last day of Fasching but, oddly enough, the largest day of celebration. The name could be translated to Rose Monday, but this would be wrong. I learned that Rosen, in this instance, derives itself from an older word of a regional German dialect that meant something along the line of running amok. Therefore, it was not Rose Monday, rather Running Amok Monday.

The most famous of German cities for Fasching celebrations, especially for Rosenmontag, is Cologne. Supposedly the parties continue on the streets of that city throughout the day and into the night. In Eichstätt, however, the parties were not quite so dynamic.

The festivities started in the early afternoon on the Marktplatz and in fron of the city hall. A large crowd had gathered to watch the several Fasching guards from Eichstätt and the area perform skits and dances on a stage. A view of the spectators, several in costume, is provided below.




Though it did drizzle from time to time, the performers continued with the show. A couple shots of the dancers are below. One group had an American theme, hence the flags and impersonation of the Statue of Liberty.







As the dancers performed on stage and the audience enjoyed drinks and hot snacks, a few men on a side street were having their own fun. I have been told that cracking whips and competing for the loudest sounds is somewhat of a tradition around Eichstätt. The video clip below shows the men in action. This was the second time I had come across this activity in all of my time in Eichstätt. Supposedly though, cracking whips in public places is illegal because of the potential danger to passers-by. The other time I saw men cracking whips was a late night in the McDonald's parking lot. A police car drove by, performed a quick u-turn in the otherwise empty street, and drove up the group of men to talk with them. This time around no police came.



video


After the performances on stage ended in the midafternoon, I spent the rest of the day and night with Annabel and some of her friends. Several parties took place around town, both inside and out on the streets and squares. Annabel and her friends had a fairy tale theme for their custumes. As seen in the first picture below, Annabel dressed as the frog from the storyof the Frog Prince. I had little to work with and did the best I could with a makeshift pirate costume.




Tuesday was quiet in comparison, and the season of Lent started on Wednesday. Since then I have spent my days planning for an upcoming trip, which I will write about in one more brief post to conclude the week.

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