Move over Oktoberfest, because there’s another citywide rager that deserves your level of appreciation. And I’m about to give it just that.
I’ve been binge-watching a lot of Friends lately, and somehow, I realized that I totally missed out on Season 9. (I know. Unforgivable.)
After falling into the depths of crazy Friends fandom within the first *clap* (clap, clap, clap), I stumbled across a meme stating:
“No offence, but Monica Geller deserves Rachel Green level appreciation and attention.”
And then, I thought about Munich. (Because, naturally, these two topics have a ton in common).
You see, last year, I happened to be in Munich during Fasching, the city’s equivalent to Carnival. During my two days in the city, I bumped into hundreds of extravagantly costumed individuals, bathed in confetti, ate a beyond acceptable amount of jelly-filled donuts, and visited a bierhalle or two. In other words, I had a blast!
But I was also a bit stumped.
For years, I had heard people rave about wondrous Oktoberfest – the beer, the beer steins, drindls, pretzels, the good company, and more. But I hadn’t heard anything about Fasching. And Fasching festivities are more than a little bit wild, and they’re definitely beyond fun.
So just like Monica Geller deserves a Rachel Green level of appreciation, I want this post to show just how much Fasching deserves an Oktoberfest level of recognition.
Now, before we go any further, I’ve chosen quite the song to serve as the soundtrack for this post. So brace yourself for a 1980’s Austrian throwback*, click play, and let’s go.
Why You Should Party it up in Munich During Fasching
1. Everyone is so Genuinely Happy
People who attend Munich’s Fasching festivities are there to celebrate. Fasching is a time to have fun and indulge before Lent begins. When joining in on the party, you will run into people who want to sing with you, drink with you, laugh with you, eat with you, toast with you, dance with you, masquerade with you, and more.
Just two strangers sharing a heartfelt dance.
Dancing while working – because it’s impossible not to.
These awesome women let me photograph their gorgeous and extravagant costumes.
When surrounded by so much stress-free energy and enthusiasm, it’s impossible not to feel more than a little giddy too.
2. The Main Fasching Festivities Take Place Right in the Heart of Munich’s Old Town
There’s no need to elaborate on this point too much , but it’s definitely convenient that Munich’s major Fasching celebrations take place right in the city centre. Marienplatz, Munich’s central square, typically becomes home to an outdoor stage and numerous food and drink stalls, which extend up Kaufingerstraße (a major shopping street). The central square also has a metro stop right underneath, which provides visitors with fast and easy connections to other parts of the city, (including Munich’s main train station).
Marienplatz from above (bird’s-eye view from St. Peter’s Tower).
3. The “Konfetti”
Have you ever thought that city streets would look a lot more exciting if they were speckled with all the colours of the rainbow?
Well, I have good news here – you can totally check this phenomenon out in Munich during Fasching. As part of the festivities, countless partygoers fill up their hands, pockets, bags and whatnot with multi-coloured confetti. Then, they take advantage of all available opportunities to shower surrounding partygoers with rainbow paper tidbits and give them the chance to experience a technicolour micro-blizzard. After all, if there’s a major citywide party going on, it better look like there’s party going on.
A not so casual sign demanding that it’s time to bring on the Konfetti.
And in all honesty, how can one not love a day where it’s socially acceptable to throw things at complete strangers?
10 points for Fasching!
4. Infinite and Elaborate Costume Choices
During Fasching, it’s time to go big or go home. This applies to eating, drinking, dancing, and dressing up.
The philosophy behind every Fasching costume choice could very well be:
If you dream it, be it.
Just take a look at the Medieval King below:
Not pictured: the beer stein in the king’s left hand.
5. Crowd Control (or rather, the crowds are under control)
Thousands of people head down to Munich’s downtown core in order to take part in Fasching festivities. However, the crowds are manageable. While out and about during Fasching, I didn’t experience any long queues or excessive, unruly crowding.
None of the food and drink stalls in downtown Munich had long or unmanageable lines. Yay!
6. Flexibility When It Comes to Making Plans and Reservations
While looking for accommodations in Munich just a few weeks before Fasching, I noticed that many hotel and hostel pages had the same notice already published on their pages. The notices said something like this:
Hotel/Hostel reservations made for nights between the end of September and the beginning of October** are exempt from the hotel’s/hostel’s cancellation policy. Any reservations made between these dates must be paid in full upon booking. No refunds will be issued for cancellations.
**Usual dates for Oktoberfest.
Fortunately, while booking my accommodations for Fasching, I was able to make changes and cancellations to any of my reservations without any financial penalties (I always book through Booking.com). These flexible policies definitely came in handy when a friend decided to join in on the trip, and we decided to head down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen earlier than previously planned.
Fasching generally takes place in February, which coincides with wintertime in Europe. Wintertime is typically offseason for travellers (except for winter sport fanatics, of course). This means that it’s infinitely easier to snag accommodation and transportation deals during this time of year.
And as a side note, it’s also totally possible to experience Munich’s major sites and attractions in the winter.
Check out 7 reasons why you need to celebrate #Fasching (#Carnival) in #Munich, #Germany: Click To Tweet
Planning a Trip to Munich?
- Check out 4 sites and attractions in Munich that you don’t want to miss.
This year, 2018, Munich’s major Fasching celebrations took place on Sunday, February 11th and Tuesday, February 13th. This means that there’s roughly another year before they take place again. So there’s plenty of time mull over the contents of this post, develop a small obsession for Fasching, and possibly even learn Falco’s Der Kommissar by heart (maybe I’m taking things a little too far here at the end).
Attending Munich’s Fasching celebrations? Take a few extra days to discover the best of winter in Bavaria:
- Check out how to get the most out of your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle.
- Check out how to plan the perfect winter trip to Zugspitze, Germany.
(*NOTE: Despite being by an Austrian artist, Falco’s Der Kommissar was the song that was playing through massive outdoor speakers as I walked through Karl’s Gate into Munich’s Old Town. A group of ridiculously costumed dancers were dancing along to the song on stage with a crowd of over 100 people cheering them on.
Polish-Canadian, 90’s child me also happens to have a soft spot for Falco. My dad would play the greatest remixes of his greatest hits on long road trips. So yeah, when this song came on in Munich, I instantly knew what it was and had a fit of laughter (or two)).
Have you ever celebrated Fasching/Carnival? Where? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment sections below.