In parts of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, Fasching is the carnival season that lasts from November 11 to Ash Wednesday. It's called the "fifth season" and is celebrated from the Thursday before Ash Wednesday to Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Here it is a school holiday and many businesses shut down (Bosch not being one of them). It is celebrated by costumes and many parades. One person likened it to Halloween, in that they are wearing costumes to scare away winter.
There were parades and celebrations in the many sub-areas of Stuttgart, but the city of Stuttgart held theirs the day before Ash Wednesday, which was this past Tuesday. We planned to go to the parade, pending weather, with some of the other moms and kids we've met since we've moved here. Thankfully the weather was nice, so we made it downtown.
We met up at a department store downtown, that had a large a la carte restaurant on the top level. There was a nice area in the corner that had toys for kids to play with so this was perfect for us. We grabbed some lunch, and when Brady got restless sitting with us, he could go and play. He was really good about coming over every five minutes of so just to check that we were still there. I kept my eye on him and was really impressed that he stayed in that small area unless he was coming back over to our table.
About an hour before the parade, we decided to head down to the streets to scout out a good spot to watch the parade. We chose an area that was a little further down in the parade route, so we could be in the front row.
Brady hanging out in his stroller, waiting for the parade to start.
Some of the moms and kids
Some of the moms
Kids dressed up for the celebration
We watched the parade for about an hour and a half before calling it quits. We started in the front row since we got there early, but like in most places, parents just let their kids push in front of you. Before you know it, those parents are pushing their way past you, thinking if their kids can do it, they can too. It's really frustrating because the parents at least should know better. Brady was getting upset that he couldn't see anything anymore and the kids were so dense around him, he couldn't get any of the candy that was being thrown. We had a really good time overall, and were glad we could experience one of the celebrations here, since we will miss the big ones of Oktoberfest and the Christmas markets. Everyone (not Americans) says we should ask the company if we can stay longer so we can experience them, and we just smile and nod, but we will definitely be coming home on time.