Fašiangy or Winter Carnival

Although the period of Lent has already started, I want to return to Fašiangy time, which is the Slovak word for Fastnacht (German), Maslenitza (Russian) or Mardi Gras (French). In Slovakia, it marks the end of Carnival season and falls on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent.

As a nation of fun and party lovers, we make the most of the time. Our carnival season starts as soon as mid-January and lasts until Shrove Tuesday or Doughnut Day. Yes, it’s not pancakes that we make to celebrate the occasion. Our doughnuts are called šišky (shishki) or pampúšky (pampooshki), depending on their size. But that will come later. Now let’s see what Fašiangy looks like in Slovakia.

Of course, it never goes without eating, drinking, singing, dancing and, above all, having fun.

And finally, the Queen comes to meet the crowd. The real party can begin…

When all is said and done (and nothing left to eat or drink), the time has come to bury the double bass.  Well, this is quite a farce that involves a lot of ‘grieving’.

Mourning above the 'dead' double-bass - the festivities have finished, Lent is about to start
Mourning above the ‘dead’ double-bass – the festivities have finished, Lent is about to start

Fašiangy  celebrations have become very popular in Slovakia in the last few years. Almost every village, town, school or club boasts its own party or carnival.

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