(Brauchtumsabend in Kappel: mgv-kappel)
The hamlet of Kappel celebrated its Brauchtumsabend, an evening of Alemannic traditions and customs with its many associations (vereine). The Schauinsländer Berggeister had hosted the event and the men’s choir also sang some jolly songs. Satis Shroff sang ‘Speedy Gonzales’ and the MGV-Kappel sang two other songs: ‘Leinen los, Santiano’ and Aloha-hey to the delight of the audience.
Narri, Narro: Fasnet is a time of merri-making associated ith the banishment of the cold, frosty and snowy winter season. People don scary masks, drink alcohol and the knaves join the demons and ghoulish figures in a spirit of national merriment. Speeches are held lampooning village, national and international polititians and clownery and satire is the order of the day accompanied by slogans such as ‘Narri! Narro!’ During these days a lot of tomfoolery is overlooked by the otherwise strict protectors of order.
In the early days the people of Freiburg used to celebrate the Rhine Carneval but they decided to switch over to the Alemannic folk’s fasnet in the year 1934. The fasnet has its origin as a Christian-Catholic custom. The greatest Swabian-Alemannic fasnet festival is celebrated in Rottweil.
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Costumes galore: Ever fasnet chique has its own motto and costume. Ebnet has its Feurigen (fiery) Salamander, Kappel its Schauinsländer Berggeister (mountain spirits), Maulberg has its Teufelsknecht (devil’s knave) and the costumed figures have German names such as: Rhy-Dämonen (Rhine demons), Gaischterreiter (ghost riders) that conjour images of Robert Burn’s ‘Tam O’ Shanter,’ Hühnerlochfelsengeiter, Rappe Chlapf Deufel, Schnarchzapfe, Wilde Wiber (wild wives) and the Atzenbacher devils. The local mayor’s office has officially decided to forbid the throwing of confetti. Cleaning up the mess after the fasnet’s over is a big problem in this throwaway society.
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Switzerland: On the other side of the Rhine, in Switzerland, the fasnet celebration (Morgenstraich) begins a week later than in Germany. In Lucern the fifth season, as the fasnet is called, began with a Big Bang in which 16,000 people celebrate Fasnacht. Last year it was 2000. At least 36,000 people took part in the Fritschi procession. That was 14,000 more than 2016.
The Basler guggen-musicians are busy preparing for their big performance from 6th till 9th of March 2017 in Rheinfelden. 20 guggen musicians will be playing in Rheinach. The biggest community Allschwil will be performing tomorrow at 5am with their Morgenstraich.
Life depends upon the liver: All these fasnet celebrations are actually bad for the young people because life depends upon the liver (pun intended). It’s easy for you people buy alcohol. This year the Blue Cross will be distributing coloured armbands so that the shopkeepers know whether they can sell alcohol to the kids. In an actual sale situation, it’s always fast and hectic when all customers want to buy alcohol at the same time. To avoid this, the Swiss youth are obliged to wear a coloured band on their sleeve. Sixteen-year-olds wear a yellow band when they want to buy beer or wine. If you’re 18 you’ll receive a blue band, which means you can buy drinks with a high percentage of alcohol.
We’ll have to see how the colour bands function and whether they attain their intended goals.
(Federehannes from the Swabian-Alemannic Fasnet)
Scheiben schlagen: In Kappel the Schauinsländer Berggeister will be burying the fasnet symbolically on the 28th of February. The last event towards the banishment of winter is ‘scheiben schlagen’ which means hitting the burning slab of wood. The event takes place at the Maier Hill (Maierberg) which lies along the Eschenweg to Kappel. No more narro! No more narro! after that.