Fasching continues here in Germany, so today I thought I would share one of the unique traditions. This Thursday marks “Altweiberfasching” which literally translated means “Old Women’s Fasching.”
This tradition is a kind of liberated “women’s day” when women storm town halls, banks and offices and snip the neckties off of the men. One article I read explained it this way, “Women are allowed to act crazy that day and have fun without their better halves.” (emphasis mine- did anyone else cringe or was it just me?)
Historically, the tradition of women participating in Fasching goes back to the 15th century. In our village Altweiberfasching will be celebrated at 11:11 a.m. Women dressed in costume/disguise will storm the Rathaus(town hall) in search of men. They will bring them outside to the center of the village and tie them to the Narrenbrunnen, or fools fountain where they will proceed to cut off the men’s ties. The ties are then collected and hung up as trophies. By paying a small fee, captives will be set free.
The picture above is of the Narrenbrunnen in my village. Don has been warned and does not plan to be anywhere near our village on Thursday.
Now, where did I leave my scissors?