Feathers and Fasching Frolics

It is said there are five seasons in Germany‘s westernmost city, the spa resort of Aachen – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Karneval – often referred to in this neck of the woods as Fastelovend (the eve before fasting) or Fasching. The official ‘season’ begins in November but things don’t really start to get going until the weekend after Twelfth Night. Of course, I had forgotten all about that as I wandered the cobbled streets of Aachen in early January, gazing obliviously at suspiciously ornate shop windows.

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aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

I didn’t even make the connection when I passed shop mannequins sporting truly heinous crimes against fashion.

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It took great flocks of uniform-clad people…

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

…and startling feathers…

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…to remind me that Fasching was well and truly underway in Aachen. So I followed the marching bands…

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

…to the Aula Carolina hall in Pontstraẞe and watched an almighty big band showdown.

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

aachen, fasching, karneval, fastelovend, germany, travel, travelogue, carnival, ailsa prideaux-mooney

In between the band performances there was a complicated affair of parodying local public figures and events, but even if you didn’t quite catch all the references, there was plenty of good food and even better beer so you laughed along with everyone else anyway.

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