MunichNOW Munich Fasching 2018
MunichNOW Munich Fasching 2018

MUNICH –(MunichNOW Life)– It is the homestretch of the time known here as Fasching (Carnival), its original reasons and meaning lost long ago. There was some Christian religion mixed in the celebrations of yesteryear, and afterwards you had to give up alcohol, meat, chocolate and sex for Lent.

Wagen der Roten Funken, Rosenmontagszug 2006
Wagen der Roten Funken, Rosenmontagszug  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Basically be a devout Christian for 40 days. Today the religion component of Fasching is a bit different, it is one when the altar of worship has been replaced by a worship of selfies upon the altar of Instagram®. The one thing which has remained for the festival is the costumes, which are gaudy, garish, but sometimes kitschy. So German.

Unlike the rest of the world, the Germans need a reason (like a rule) to get plastered and Fasching does just that. It is as if Oktoberfest, Starkbierfest (Strong Beer Festival), and the countless other fests do not offer ample time to tipple. Or, maybe the Germans tire of drinking beer and at Fasching mixed drinks are more prevalent. This year’s Fasching is early (the religion thing), and cold, so the biggest problem might be exposure to the elixirs and elements.

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Nockherberg München Starkbierfest 2007
Nockherberg München Starkbierfest
There are a couple of other things which remind the mid-winter working public, as they mope to their jobs in the grey light of morning, that it is Fasching. There are over-priced under-tasting sweet dough puffs the locals call Krapfen, though I think crap would be a better name for them. They run you about the same as a Bratwurst does from a few joints I know in the city. They can be €2 ($2.50) or more! I can get a baker’s dozen at Krispy Kreme® for about €7, and they taste infinitely better with much more of the treasure in the center.

An assortment of doughnuts on display in a sho...
An assortment of doughnuts on display in a shop in Washington, D.C.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back to the Bacchanalia which is happening at Viktualien Markt. The revelers usually consist of three main groups. There are singles, couples without children, and empty nesters. There might be a fourth group which actually watches the local dance troupes, comedians, actors and musicians, but they have not been heard from since before Merkel, and seen since Kohl. The music is a mix of Bryan Adams, Abba, and any other song you can think of in that vein, with enough contemporary pop music to keep most of the people I know away.

MunichNOW Munich Fasching 2018
MunichNOW Munich Fasching 2018

If the music does not do it, the prices might. All of that security does not come cheap! But like the other festivals which can dent your wallet before sunset, it is best to get dressed, have fun (I have no idea how), and join the other partygoers getting pissed

You can find me there this Tuesday between 11 am and 1 pm, before the hordes who have been given the last half of the day off to get absolutely sloshed arrive, and the sun gives up completely to the clouds. I will be standing in the sun, somewhere in the sun, or next to a heater, with a nice view of the Maibaum, Alter Peter on the left of my view. It is for research purposes, I can assure you, only research.

MunichNOW Munich Fasching 2018
MunichNOW Munich Fasching 2018

Munich Fasching 2019 Climaxes on Tuesday!

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Michael V. Owens
Born in San Diego and raised in Florida, Michael grew to appreciate the ocean deeply. This changed when he moved to Munich but the Bavarian Alps are a suitable substitute for the Atlantic Ocean. Like many here, he enjoys hiking, biking and swimming during the 6-week long summer. He has diplomas in History and English literature. Michael gives lectures at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München on English writing skills, English grammar and American culture. He has lived in Munich for nearly two decades, the last 12 years with his wife. They have an eight-year-old daughter who speaks German and English equally. Michael does not. He hopes to (at some point) learn German, but is convinced Oscar Wilde was correct when he said, “Life is too short to learn German.” Michael can be read with fewer constraints from his editors at He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the name LaptopsAndLederhosen.