Pagan Party in Bregenz, Austria, 11-2015

Ore Ore!  It’s the 11th month, the 11th day, and 11:11 and the Bregenz market place is alive with the sounds of a brass and a Guggamusik band, a costumed drill team, and high spirited participants are dressed in a variety of colorful costumes. The occasion is the official beginning of the yearly Fasching or Carnival season when the mayor of the city symbolically hands over the keys of the city to the newly elected “Prince of Fasching” and speeches are made by local politicos associated with the Carnival activities that will last through Shrove Tuesday. Many celebrations take place during this “fifth season” whose roots hail back to pagan times and is observed with festivities such as lavish parties and masquerade balls. The greatest revelry takes place during Carnival week beginning with “Fat Thursday” followed by the city parade that happens on Carnival Sunday. The grand finale takes place on Rose Monday when the inner city parties the day away before Ash Wednesday marks the end of the season and Lent commences the time for fasting and reflection. But until then it’s a time to make merry, eat sweet Krapfen cakes, and drink hot spiced Glühwein. Ore Ore!

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