When I arrived in Munich towards the end of February, I was expecting a quiet week of sightseeing. Visit some churches, spend a day or so in the museums, stroll through the historic streets. Little did I know what the week had in store for me…
My second day of sightseeing started out like any other. I left the hotel bright and early (still suffering from that jet lag, but hey, it actually got me up and moving way earlier than usual, which I count as a win on vacations) and headed in the direction of Marienplatz. I thought this could be a good day to find the art museums. But as I approached Karlsplatz (which is the direction I used to get to Marienplatz everyday), I noticed something different. There was a stage set up, with music and dancing. I had to investigate further. I followed the crowds toward Marienplatz.
Here I stumbled upon something even more magical. There was an even bigger stage, DJs playing fun dance music, food vendors, people in crazy costumes, booths selling alcohol at like 9 a.m. (goodness I love Germany) and confetti everywhere. Turns out, I had unknowingly traveled to Munich during their Fasching celebrations, which is basically their version of Mardi Gras or Carnival.
What luck!!! It goes without saying I quickly tossed aside my museum plans. A giant street party was so much better!!
Because I want you to really have the full experience of celebrating Fasching in Munich, here is a music video you should check out. This song was played so much during the celebrations, and I instantly fell in love with it. I feel it really captures the spirit of the experience. No idea what the song is actually about though…
Seriously one of the most fun songs ever written. There are several versions available on iTunes (I bought them all), and I don’t know who did the original, but I particularly like the music video that accompanies this version. So enjoy!
Oh glorious confetti! There were vendors pushing around little carts selling bags of confetti. Lots and lots of bags of confetti.
Even though it was early in the morning, I was on vacation in Germany, so I figured I should do as the Germans do! I bought my first glass of gluhwein. Oh sweet nectar of the gods…gluhwein is delicious!! It is a tasty mulled wine, served warm. Perfect for a cold winter day!
This family gets my vote for best costumes. The Force is strong with them.
And then it was time for more gluhwein.
I thought is was great how people just threw confetti everywhere. I didn’t know a single soul at this street party, and I still had people throwing confetti at me. This may sound silly, but it made me feel all happy and welcome. Total strangers were treating me the same way they were treating their family members. The whole event had that warm fuzzy feeling people in LA only get during Christmas time (if even then). So it was really nice, and felt very special.
And then of course you can’t go to Germany and not get a bratwurst. Odd as it sounds, this was my first time trying an actual bratwurst. And it was love at first bite. It has since become one of my favorite foods.
The party continued all through the afternoon…
Sadly tragedy struck my third glass of gluhwein. I still drank it though.
Seriously though, watch out for your beverages.
I also got this pretzel that was bigger than my head. So much yes!!
So much carnage in the streets…
I loved celebrating Fasching so much, I returned and did it all again the next day!
Fasching is a glorious multi-day celebration, a time of merry-making and festivity. And as with any street party or festival, the crowd can get a little wild. I recommend attending the celebrations in the first day or two of the party, but maybe skip the last day on Shrove Tuesday. It was crazy crowded on the last day, and the more wild attendees were out then. More drunk people, less happy family fun. That day didn’t have the same magic feeling as the earlier days and just felt more like a giant party. Which is cool too, but very different.
I certainly did not plan on spending so much of my time in Munich celebrating Fasching, but I am so glad I did. Sometimes the unplanned things in life turn out to be the best.