It’s Fasching time!
Carnival celebrations in South-West Germany start as early as Nov. 11 and last until the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday.
Throughout this “fifth season”, masked dances, parades, street parties, and all kinds of crazy skits take place in towns and villages in the footprint of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart. Local associations work for months to revive time and again costumes and events rooted in traditions that go back at least to medieval times. In the coldest weeks of the year, they animate grey landscapes with specks of bright colors, and break the winter silence with clashing sounds, calling nature back to life.
The peak of all these revelries is the final week of Fasching when even city dwellers don costumes and take to the streets, or join a “town hall assault.” Posters advertising local events can be found everywhere these days, even in the smallest communities, so it would be nearly impossible to draw up a full calendar.
The following is a list of some of the larger events in and around Stuttgart.
2018 Key Dates
Weiberfastnacht (Greasy Thursday/Women’s Fasching): Feb. 8
Rosenmontag (Rose Monday): Feb. 12
Fastnacht/Karneval (Shrove Tuesday): Feb. 13
Aschenmittwoch (Ash Wednesday): Feb. 14
Children’s Carnivals Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at the foyer of the Stuttgart Liederhalle and also on Feb. 12 at Stuttgart’s Rathaus.
Fasting Parade (Fasnetsumzug): Feb. 13, at 2-5 p.m. Big parade and street party through the city centerIn the city center and on Königstraße. New this year: No confetti may be thrown.
Bad Cannstatt Activities
Foolish Market Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Bad Cannstatt Market Square. The weekly market will add a program to include live music. At 6 p.m. fools will storm the Town Hall tower, followed by games and activities through the old town until 2 a.m. to include obstacle courses and races with participants wearing wooden wine barrels.
Children’s Carnival: Feb. 10, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Kulturinsel Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt.
Küblerball Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. The Cannstatter fools meet at the annual Küblerball, Stadtmitte Bad Bannstatt (Königsplatz 1). With over 200 participants, the various groups of the Kübelesmarkt entertain visitors with their performances. A party band plays dance music in the breaks and until the end of the event. Cost: €20
Felben History: Feb. 11, 4 – 7 p.m. Enjoy a festival on the history of the Cannstatter Felbenköpfe, (Cannstatter fools). Meet at Mühlgrün, afterwards a torchlight procession will take place at 6 p.m. to the city church in Market Square.
The festival committee, Stuttgart Carnival, list their schedule of events at www.faschinginstuttgart.de (in German).
Zuffenhausen: Jan. 27, Join in the storming of the District Town Hall. Fasching fools will symbolically “force” Zuffenhausen’s District Mayor to hand over the keys to the city administration for the “Narren” (fools) to reign the city during the Fasching weeks (the traditional Fasching week will peak on Greasy/Dirty Thursday Feb. 8 and will end on Ash Wednesday Feb. 14).
A Fasching Party will be held outside the district town hall starting at 1:30 p.m. A small Fasching parade begins at 2:45 p.m. and the fools will storm the town hall at 3 p.m.
Leinfelden-Echterdingen: Feb. 3, at 3 p.m., storm the town hall. A Children’s Carnival takes place at 2 p.m. at the Filderhalle.
Böblingen: Women’s Fasnet (Weiberfasnet) Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gansseestüble (Sudetenstraße 45), enjoy free entrance to music performances and dancing. For more information, call 07031-234147. The Stadtbibliothek (library) will host cardboard mask crafts while telling Carnival jokes, Feb. 9 from 4- 5:30 p.m., then a Children’s Carnival is set for Feb. 13 from 1-6 p.m. at the Kongresshalle.
Degerloch: Fasting on Ice Feb. 11, from 5 – 9:30 p.m. at the Eiswelt Stuttgart. Specials for children dressed in costume.
Leonberg: Feb. 11, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., storm the Town Hall followed by live music.
Weil der Stadt: Feb. 11, 2 p.m. “Grosser Fasnetsumzug” (big parade) is one of the largest and oldest in southern Germany. More than 60 cars, groups and bands are passing through the city. 50,000 people from near and far line the streets to see 2,000 active fools participate. A children’s parade is also set for Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. through the city center Marketplace.
For more events and activities, check your local city events page. Costumes are currently available in grocery stores and local shops throughout Germany. For additional events throughout Germany, tune into Culture Corner on AFN Stuttgart, Thursday from 8-9 a.m., or check the Off-Post Culture Events calendar in the USAG Stuttgart mobile app.