Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Faschingsdienstag aka Mardi Gras

(image from here)

Yesterday was Faschingsdienstag (translated "Shrove Tuesday"..'shrove' being the past tense of 'shrive' : to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and doing penance). You would know it as Mardi Gras or Fatty Fats Tuesday.

That means today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season we call Lent in the Catholic Church. It helps a bit being Catholic here as almost all holidays (and there are a lot of seemingly random ones on Mondays) are Catholic 'holy days'. I'm not out in the dark on this one...I kinda know what's going down. Mom's holy day calendar (with all the Saints' feasts days) would really come in handy over here. I think there is one Protestant church here in Graz. All of the 4,000 others are Catholic...and old...and beautiful...and ornate...and freezing in the winter! (no heat!).

I consider Fasching Tuesday to be the their way of making up for no Halloween. They bust out all sorts of costumes, wigs, masks and freaky clowns. Of course masks are a common Mardi Gras theme everywhere. I took some pictures as I strolled down the main street yesterday on my way to have afternoon tea with my friend, Amber. Yes, we sip tea and chat in the afternoon. Really quite wondey.

(image from here)
There was a big parade down the main streets and, once again, the streets were packed and people were in my way walkin' real slow. I'm not a huge fan of big crowds and festivals where all you can see if some dude's bright pink wig two inches in front of you and smell Smokey the bandit on your tail.

Colorful paper lanterns are hung in many store windows starting on Epiphany...the start of the Fasching season.

I had to get some pink CC. But why? It's not that's just fun.

These guys were happy to pose.



Anonymous said...

Afternoon tea... we are such ladies. Great to see you again. Love these photos - now I get to see it all vicariously thru your pics, from the comfort of my chair. So sweet.

Emily said...

We had men running around dressed as rabbits. They were eating carrots that had been steeped overnight in schnapps....
There seems to be a never ending procession of Catholic feast days including things like Erntedank (Harvest) that someone told me is not a "proper" Catholic feast day but someone in the past decided that there was too big a gap between feasts without that one shoved in at the end of September/beginning of October. They like to party here so they use any old excuse!

melissa said...

Looks wild and crazy and still cold. Sorry to say we have had 3 wondy days with clear blue skies and 60. I know it will come your way soon.

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