What is Fasching you say? One big fat party is what most people would tell you, but in greater detail, it's Germany's famous pre-Lenten festivities. Much like Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnevale in Venice, Italy, Fasching is celebrated with grand costumes, exciting parades filled with floats and clowns throwing candy, and, of course, lots of booze and debauchery. Many towns across Germany hold their own Fasching parades and celebrations, but the most popular parades on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) are held in Cologne and in Mainz (a town adjacent to our current host town) the Monday before Ash Wednesday. Knowing we couldn't attend the parades in those cities this year, D and I settled on joining the Fasching festivities in downtown Wiesbaden this past Sunday. I was amazed to see how much Fasching in Germany reminded me of Halloween. Practically every Halloween tradition, from dressing up in ridiculous costumes to getting candy from strangers blended right into the German Fasching traditions. They even have Fasching costume stores (which is exactly where I bought my Halloween costume this year)! D and I kept it simple, sporting our German pride with hats we bought on a day trip to Coburg last summer. We seemed to blend right into the mayhem quite nicely! Much like Mardi Gras, floats line up and ride up and down the city streets, throwing goodies to the hundreds of dressed up onlookers below. Instead of throwing beads, in Germany they throw out items like candy, popcorn, sponges (weird), gummie bears, and tiny bottles of schnapps. And you don't even have to show your ta-tas for them! Just yell out the words "HELAU!!" (sounds like hello) and the treats come flying! We came home with a bag of loot every trick-or-treater would be envious of. Plus 6 tiny bottles of alcohol. I'd say Fasching was a great success for Team Coté! We can't wait to do it up big next year!