Mardis Gras, German Style

Today was the Fasching parade in Stuttgart. (Fasching is also known as Mardis Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, or Carnival.) Although I’ve celebrated Carnival in Italy a couple of times this was a first for me in Germany. Stuttgart holds the parade in the afternoon followed by a big party at the Dinkelacker brewery. The parade starts at 2pm at the Schlossplatz and runs through Planie, Karlsplatz, Rathaus, and ends at Tübinger Straße. The parade lasts about 2 hours and the party begins at 4pm. I’d recommend arriving about 30 minutes early if you want a spot up front as it does get busy. Or, as I learned today, reserve a table at the Cube restaurant and watch from above.

Unfortunately, today was really cold and rainy so not an ideal day for a parade, but I toughed it out until the very end! Since this was my first time I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I suppose I thought it would be magical and carnival-themed. Well, was I in for a surprise! The only thing that I can compare it to is American Halloween. It felt like I was at a Halloween parade in February. All of the kids were dressed up and brought little bags to fill up with candy being thrown by those in the parade. The creatures in the parade were creepy and scary. It was dark. Perhaps the weather was appropriate?! Anyway, I’ll let the photos tell the story:

See what I mean?? 🙂 This yellow guy took off my winter hat and rubbed his big piece of cheese on my head! While it wasn’t quite what I expected, it was really fun (especially for the kiddos) and I would definitely recommend going if you find yourself in Stuttgart this time of year.

And, while the parade wasn’t at all political, one group used their platform to take a jab at the newly elected U.S. President:

Good work, Germans. 🙂

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