ANSBACH, Germany (Jan. 15, 2016) — “Was ist los in Franken?” details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout Lower, Upper and Middle Franconia.
Fasching, Fastnacht & Karneval
The Fasching season, also known as the “fifth season” in Germany, has a long tradition in Europe; it originates in the preparation for the six-week fasting time during lent, which ends on Easter. Fasching, Fastnacht, or Karneval is a time when Germans loosen up a little, dress up in funny costumes and party. Karneval is especially popular in the Rhine region; cities like Cologne, Mainz or Düsseldorf more or less shut down to party during the high season. The date of the long Fasching weekend varies, depending on the church calendar; while the official start of the season is always on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 a.m., the revelers stay mostly dormant during the Advent and Christmas season until the actual high Fasenacht season in the following spring. In the time between New Year’s and the high Fasching season many towns and villages host balls, parties and parades. Party goers typically dress up as a character, similar to Halloween. German police are cruising the streets more frequently at night to catch those who drink and drive.
For children, many communities host parties called “Kinderfasching,” usually taking place in a community center or gym. These events involve dress-up for the kids, a lot of loud music and dancing, games, face painting and food. They are quite popular with the kids, while the parents go along as chaperones (ear plugs recommended!).
The high season starts with Altweiberfasnacht, or crazy Thursday (Feb. 4), when traditionally in many towns the women take over the city’s courthouse and cut off the tie of any man who dares to wear one. After attending parties all weekend long, people flock to the large cities like Cologne or Mainz to watch the Rosenmontag (“Rose Monday”) parades (Feb. 8), or stay local and enjoy smaller parades, often with folklore background.
Faschingsdienstag (Feb. 9) – Shrove Tuesday – offers one last chance to party hard and then “bury” the carnival at midnight until following year. Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday) marks the beginning of Fastenzeit (“fasting time“- lent); the weeks before Easter are often used as a time for reflection and renunciation of certain personal vices (like smoking, alcohol or candy).
Terracotta Soldiers in Nürnberg
The exhibition “The Terracotta Army and the Legacy of the Eternal Emperor” can currently be seen in Nürnberg at the former AEG factory grounds in Muggenhofer Straße 135. The exhibition is open until March 3, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 5 p.m.). To learn more, visit http://terrakottaarmee.de/
Foodtruck Round-up in Nürnberg
The Franconian Foodtruck Round-up takes place this weekend on Jan. 16 at the Messezentrum (Eingang Mitte) from noon to 8 p.m. All Franconian and many guest trucks will be present and serving food to go; the trucks will also serve a sample size of their specialty to give visitors the chance to try more varieties. Admission is free, parking is 2 euros per vehicle. To learn more, go to Foodtruck Round-up on Facebook
Night Flea Market in Nürnberg
An indoor night flea market takes place on Saturday, Jan. 16, starting at 5 p.m., in the Meistersingerhalle in Nürnberg (Münchener Str. 19, 90478 Nürnberg). Parking is available next to “Kleine Meistersingerhalle”; admission is 3 euros. Night Flea Market
Basketball in Ansbach
The Ansbach Piranhas basketball team is playing against Friendsfactory Schwabing on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sporthalle (Gym) of the Theresiengymnasium (Schreibmüllerstraße 10, Ansbach). To learn more about the team, check out their Facebook site at Ansbach Piranhas
Open House at Faber-Castell
The Faber-Castell castle and museum in Stein (Rednitzstraße 2a) are open every third Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (this month on Jan. 17). Visitors can tour the buildings and close out with coffee and cake in the “Wintergarten” of the castle. To learn more, visit Schloss Faber-Castell
Traditional Parade in Hilpoltstein
Hilpoltstein is hosting a traditional parade on Sunday, Jan. 17. It starts at Gasthof Bögl at 2 p.m., moving through the old part of town and ending up at the Stadthalle. The audience is invited to attend a party following the parade inside the Stadthalle. Admission is free; to learn more, visit www.hilpoltstein.de
Kinderfasching in Nürnberg
A Kinderfasching, a carnival party with music and games for kids, takes place in Nürnberg at the Sportgaststätte SV Nürnberg Reichelsdorf (Schlößleinsgasse 9, 90453 Nürnberg) on Jan. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is 3 euros, to learn more, visit Kinderfasching Nuernberg
Kinderfasching and Parade in Rothenburg
A Kinder Fasching parade takes place in Rothenburg on Jan. 23; the parade starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Luitpoldschule, towards Marktplatz and Reichsstadthalle (Spitalhof 8). There a Kinderfasching party starts at 2 p.m. with plenty of entertainment for the young ones. To learn more, visit Tourismus Rothenburg
Sleep-over at the Nürnberg Zoo
Children between 8 and 12 years can roll out their sleeping bag in front of the panorama windows and watch dolphins, manatees and sea lions as they go to sleep. The night at the zoo (including food) costs 70 euros; it starts at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 10 a.m. the next morning. To learn more, go to Tiergarten overnight