Fasching

The day after Fat Tuesday in the United States, Carnevale in Italy and Fasching in Germany — celebrations known for extravagant masks, lively parades, wild parties and overindulgence — is a time of somber reflection for Western Christians around the world.
Masquerades, fancy balls and parades make up the joyous celebrations known as Carnival. Think of Mardi Gras in full swing. As you count down the days to Lent, it’s only natural to desire a feast before fasting. Events vary according to country and region.
Stroll through a German grocery store or market in February, and at first glance – it looks as if both Halloween and Valentine’s Day are being celebrated together.
Carnival. Its name varies by German region, but everywhere the “fifth season” is an opportunity to join throngs of people, flaunt a crazy costume and have one more fabulous party before abstaining for Lent.
Stroll through a German grocery store or market in February, and at first glance – it looks as if both Halloween and Valentine’s Day are being celebrated together. 
Stroll through a German grocery store or market in February, and at first glance – it looks as if both Halloween and Valentine’s Day are being celebrated together. 
In February, (though this year is Feb. 28 – March 5), Germans gather in their town centers and the beer flows freely for a holiday which many Americans may find peculiar.
Topping most “must-see” lists is the iconic city of München (Munich). 
In addition to its historical beauty and local charm, February is a great time to visit if you want to be a part of the ultimate Fasching experience! 
Local Highlights 
Not only is Nov. 11 Veterans Day (U.S.) and St. Martin's Day (Germany), it also marks the beginning of the "fifth season" in Germany.
This upcoming Thursday, Feb. 8, is devoted to women’s empowerment known as Weiberfastnacht (Women’s Carnival Night). This unofficial holiday kicks off at 11:11 a.m. with people dressed in colorful, crazy costumes crowding the streets and bar hopping throughout their town.  
Colorful costumes, masked balls and elaborate parades are all part of Fasching festivities. Commonly known as Mardi Gras in the States, Fasching celebrates the few remaining days before the solemn season of Lent.