Fasching in Villach
Every year, the city of Villach comes alive in celebration of Fasching. Fasching is the Austrian equivalent of Carnival and has been celebrated in Villach since 1867. Fasching Samstag is the highlight of the celebration when the city hosts a “Fool’s Parade” and transforms the city center into a large disco dance party. The Fasching Samstag carnival day is one of my favorite days of the year in Villach – full of confetti, fun memories, and the customary call of “Lei Lei!”
As part of the Fasching celebration, everyone comes to the carnival dressed in costume. One of my favorite things about Fasching is that everyone is dressed up and ready to have fun, regardless of age. I love watching old men with silly wigs slugging back beers amidst the costumed children running around with handfuls of candy. The positive energy of Fasching is contagious. I came prepared to party dressed in my Jigglypuff Pokemon costume from the 90’s – needless to say, I was incredibly fashionable.
At 14:00, the Fool’s Parade (Narrenumzug) begins at Hans Gasserplatz and goes through the city center via Postgasse, ending at the Villach Central Train station. The parade is my favorite part of the celebration and draws participants from all over the region including some international participants from Italy, Slovenia, and Germany. I love watching the floats go by and listening to the different marching bands visiting our city.
Part of the fun of the parade is all of the silly string, confetti, and candy flying through the air. Parade participants throw hand fulls of candy to onlookers and it is so much fun to try and catch some sweets.
Once the parade is finished, the city center turns into a massive disco. DJs play music on stages throughout the city center and everyone flocks to the beer stalls to have a round of drinks.
By the time it is night, the Fasching Carnival is a wild party with packed dance floors and full bars. Be prepared for an evening full of singalong bar classics and Schlager music (we heard “Barbie Girl” three times that night – yikes!). Regardless of the music, it is impossible to deny how much fun Fasching is.
If you have not been to Villach during Fasching, I highly recommend you come to join in on the fun. Fasching takes place in February with the Fasching Carnival kicking off on the Saturday before Fasching Dienstag. Fasching is organized by the Villacher Faschingsgilde, for dates and information visit their website at http://www.villacher-fasching.at
In closing, I will leave you with this fantastic picture of me as Jigglypuff eating a pretzel during sunset, if that doesn’t sell you on Fasching, I don’t know what will – ha ha!