Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And so it's over until next year.....

Confetti in the street drains from the night before: Streets into town closed off for safe pedestrian travel:
It's 1 o'clock in the afternoon and there are places to go:
But, but - it's not Halloween! Is it?
Fred and Wilma are on their way:
But it seems the night before was a bit hard on the Boomtebooms and they are no where to be found with their souped up wheels chairs (that is NOT a saline bag on that IV stand!):

A few hardy souls getting a start on the evening's activities with music so loud you can't hear yourself think (aka why the street is otherwise deserted):
I haven't been into town this morning but my guess is - the streetsweepers were busy at work come midnight to remove all evidence of fun and frivolity:
Fastnacht(Carnival) is over! Whew! No more loud music and monkeys dancing in the street. It's entertaining - I'll have to give you that. But over the course of 3 days you become a bit bemused by grown men in elaborate costume, lounging at tables on the sidewalks and drinking at all hours of the day.
Are you confused that we had an end to "Carnival" this Monday? When Ash Wednesday was last week? It takes a bit to get used to but as we know, Switzerland likes it's uniqueness. One of which relates to the religious orientation of each Canton (state/county). After the "wars of the Reformation" period died down, the Cantons of Switzerland determined themselves whether they were Catholic or Protestant. It has remained this way and thus, many holidays are determined by whether you are in a Catholic or Protestant Canton (ex. Zurich, a Protestant canton does not take All Saints Day off as the Catholic Cantons do).
I have not been able to get anyone to tell me WHY the Protestants hold the Fastnacht/Carnival period out longer than the Catholics do. Was is out of spite long ago? Does it follow a pagan tradition calendar? It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Protestant Reform Church in Switzerland at all. But it's what they do. One neighbor said "it is so the people can be disguised and act ridiculous without revealing themselves." Hmmmm. That actually explains alot and makes sense once you've lived here long enough.
Our town celebrates over 3 days each year, starting Friday night and ending at midnight on Monday night. There are events and Bands (brass) scheduled throughout. The sounds have been carrying up the hill and it has been noisy! It's marching bands without the football game - for hours. The pictures above are before and after the "Kinder Umzug" or the Children's Parade. Monday was a half-day for all of Wadenswil and the Children all come in their costumes (this is their Halloween) and parade through town and throw confetti in the afternoon.
I must say - the costumes are incredible. I had other business so did not stay to watch the Parade :( and as I'm not about to take the girls into town in the evening for the drink-fest, I have no pictures other than the few above. Trust me! They are incredible. Whole groups of people coordinate their costumes and the band costumes are always elaborate. Fun to watch. Scratch my head. Why do they do this again?

Enjoy the quiet once more.


Linds said...

Engelberg is definitely Catholic so their carnival was the Sat before Lent started. It is lovely in a small village though, and great fun to watch the bands and kids and all the rest! You last Carnival (for now) - that is so sad in a way! I have kind of got used to you being there close by. We HAVE to get together before you leave.

Linds said...

PS I LOVE that first photo of yours with the confetti in the drain!

Olson Family said...

Thank you Linds! Yes - let me know when you're back in Engelberg.