Now, I’ve never lived in a big European city apart from Vienna, but it strikes me that the density of shops where you can buy model airplanes, trains and so on is very high here! There’s even one right around the corner from me… and I’ve seen heaps of them around town. They even have ‘second hand model shops!’
Perhaps time for a new hobby….? I still have a ship that I need to assemble… 🙂
They’re in the shops already. According to the internet (reliable source) Fasching, Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasnacht, Fastelabend are all one and the same thing: pre-Lenten festivities celebrated in grand style in mostly the predominantly catholic regions of the German-speaking countries. The Rhineland has its Karneval, Austria, Bavaria and Berlin calls theirs Fasching.
Soon after Fasching season opens, a mock government of eleven guilds (Zünfte) are elected, along with a carnival prince and princess who basically plan the carnival festivities. The biggest festivities are held the week before Ash Wednesday as follows:
Weiberfastnacht – Thursday before Ash Wednesday. This is mainly an event held in the Rhineland. The day begins with women storming into and symbolically taking over city hall. Then, women thoughout the day will snip off men’s ties and kiss any man that passes their way. The day ends with people going to local venues and bars in costume.
Parties, Celebrations and Parades – People will celebrate in costume at various carnival community events and individual parties. Carnival parades abound, it is literally the weekend for people to live it up.
Rosenmontag – The largest and most popular carnival parades take place on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. These parades come mostly from the Rhineland region. People throughout the German-speaking countries will tune in to watch the biggest German carnival parade of all which is held in Cologne.
Fastnachtsdienstag – Besides some parades which are held on this day, you have the burial or burning of the Nubbel. A Nubbel is a life-size doll made of straw that embodies all of the sins committed during carnival season. It is buried or burned with great ceremony on Tuesday evening before everyone partys one more time till Ash Wednesday arrives.
Fasching or Karnival celebrations stem from various beliefs and needs. For catholics, it provided a festive season of food and fun before the Lenten fasting period would begin. During the late medieval times, plays were performed during the Lenten period calledFastnachtspiele.
In pre-Christian times, carnival celebrations symbolized the driving out of winter and all of its evil spirits. Hence the masks to “scare” away these spirits. The carnival celebrations in southern Germany and Switzerland reflect these traditions.
Further, we have carnival traditions that can be traced back to historical events. After the French Revolution, the French took over Rhineland. Out of protest against French oppression, Germans from Cologne and surrounding areas would mock their politicians and leaders safely behind masks during carnival season. Even today, caricatures of politicians and other personalities can be seen boldly portrayed on floats in the parades.
I have yet to see one here in Vienna, but then I’ve never looked for it…
There’s an exhibition on now at Leopold Museum that depicts naked men in art since the 1800s. So to promote this, they’ve put up a huge 3D billboard outside the museum in MQ, which people have been climbing on and making fun of/admiring since it was put up in October. I’ve yet to see the exhibition, but as soon as my friend recovers from her operation we’re gonna go check it out. 🙂
Every year (well, starting last year that is) Innocent smoothies has this promotion where people can knit small hats for the smoothies, send them in, and then Innocent puts it on the bottles, and every bottle that is sold with a hat on it they donate 30 cents to the salvation army here in Austria. SO CUTE.
This dude was sitting on Mariahilfer today, reading and probably waiting for someone to hail a ride. Pretty cool concept, and I’m also really amazed that they are out and about when the snow is thick like it has been this week! The company is called Faxi, and they’re the more sustainable option if you need a ride from door to door.
These little poles that are attached to the walls of the buildings and kinda stick out onto the sidewalk, that they put right in front of you on the sidewalk – they have a purpose!! They’re supposed to make people walk a bit out from the wall, where a rooftop avalanche potentially would hit if you get slippage… there’s a lot of snow now on the rooftops. I’m still unconvinced that this would save lives/prevent huge damages…. 😀
Wuhuuu! I love snow! I guess today is not the right day to grab a citybike to go home though.. Citybikes are really handy, actually. You just sign up on the homepage, and cycling for up to one hour from one station to the next is totally free! After that, you’re charged 1 Euro per hour for the bike. But there are stations all over town, so you can almost be sure to find a station close to where you’re going. I just found out today that they even have a smartphone app that you can download to find stations close to you… dang useful. Seeing as my bike is still not stolen, I’ve been using mine whenever I’m out and about (and also seeing as these don’t come with helmets..).
More snow due in the coming days!!
When the weather is really grey and sad, a visit to the butterfly house in Burggarten is not the worst choice. They don’t have a mindblowing amount of butterfly species there, but it’s really nice and warm, and the butterflies are everywhere. These are not the biggest of the butterflies (not sure if you can see them?!) but they’re definitely the most willing to be photographed without a tele lens… 😛
After that, a visit to the Palmenhaus right next to it for some coffee or tea is a real treat too. 🙂
At Schönbrunn castle, there are quite large grounds, and these grounds are pretty popular with squirrels. For years and years people have come here to feed them, so by now they’re actually pretty domesticated. Like this little fella, who was lucky enough to be treated to a feast by a squirrel-loving citizen. During winter I also like to go and feed the squirrels, seeing as they don’t have much natural food to rely on (other than what they have managed to hide away during summer…)
After he had hid the peanuts that he got from the nice lady, he also came over to me to check out my camera. Or rather, to see if maybe I had a treat for him as well. Not this time though little squirrelman! But I’ll be back.