World ? Europe ? Germany ? Munich


Nov 2009 - Feb 2010 (annual)
Cost: Free
Fasching is all about huge street parties all over Munich, with what seems like the entire population in fancy dress. Prepare for lots of dancing and partying in the streets, and plenty of delicious local beer.
At 11.11am on 11 November, Germany's "fifth season", Karneval, begins and the whole country goes barking mad. But the craziness reaches its real climax the week before Ash Wednesday. In Munich the celebrations are known as Fasching.

On 11 November Fasching gets under way with the ceremonial coronation of the carnival prince and princess in the heart of Munich, Marienplatz. In addition to the ceremony, with its broad Bavarian dialect and colourful costumes, the city promises a lively programme of music and other activities, as befits such a coronation.

In February it's the turn of the main parade (known in Munich as the Faschingsumzug), when a cavalcade of groups with fabulously decorated lorries, tractors and bands starts out on its route through the centre of the city on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Keep an eye out for the lorries carrying huge effigies lampooning Germany's politicians.

On Shrove Tuesday various parades take place around the city, but if you're unaccustomed to partying Munich-style you should probably just prepare for a hangover instead! Fasching draws to a more sedate close on Ash Wednesday when the tradition is to eat fish - pick any pub or restaurant on this day and you'll find it on the menu.

Please visit the Munich Tourist Office website for a detailed programme of Fasching events.
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