Opinions differ widely as to where the customs of Fasnacht come from. Does carnival derive from the Latin term carne vale – meat farewell and refers to the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday? Is carnival a merry hustle and bustle and a folk show of the villagers, as some historians assume? Is Fasnacht derived from the old German “fasta”, meaning to fast? Or does the term originate in India, where “fas” means spring?
In many places in South Tyrol, winter is driven out with carnival customs, which would fit the latter derivation. Nature is awakened from its winter sleep – with a lot of noise and racket. And the winter ghosts and demons of disease are chased away.
No matter what the origin, the carnival season is a beautiful and colourful time with many, many customs. It traditionally starts on “Unsinniger Pfinsta”, the Thursday with the famous “Zusslrennen” of the Prader Fosnacht. There is also the Bloch- or Pfluagziachn, the Egetmannumzug in Tramin or the Maschgertanz in Prad.
We will be presenting some of these activities here in the next few days and wish you a great carnival season!