March in Ulm

Maybe not quite as romantic as “April in Paris” but…I must go with what I know. Anyway. Taking a pause from the Christmas trip until I get my hands on some missing photos. Turns out three weeks of holiday is a daunting amount of time to recall three months later. Clearly one of my resolutions was not blogging more often. (Yes Parents, I know I am a bad child.)

So instead, let’s jump forward a few months to the (near) present. First off, those rags I mentioned earlier? Turns out they were most certainly for Carnival. I think. The closest explanation I could find about Ulm’s parade (which took place sometime during the end of January or beginning of February) is this (and click on “Donauhexen” on the sidebar for a few more pictures). My German is not so super with regard to this specific content, but if I understand correctly they make up the royal court for Danubius and somehow come from underwater and there are fish and witches involved and…can you tell I don’t understand?

What it comes down to though, is that there was a parade that we happened to see on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And it was the kind of parade I grew up with, where there were more people in the parade than were watching it. There were bands and a metric ton of handmade witch costumes. And fish costumes. And some sort of abominable snowman-type creature. It was quite long (distance & time-wise), there was a lot of glitter and candy and I took absolutely no pictures because we weren’t planning on seeing a parade that afternoon! We were planning on a walk along the river in the sun after three weeks of being sick! Thus I fail as an official reporter of curiously weird Ulm activities, but I did track down these flickr pictures (some of which are from Ulm) which are really quite good.

Our other contribution to the Carnival activities took place last week, on “Dirty Thursday,” my direct translation of the “Schmutziger Donnerstag” which apparently is also “Schmotziger Donnerstag” which I think is Fat Thursday? That all make sense? Anyway, Thursday kicked off the real Carnival celebrations, I think with a bunch of stuff happening midday that I didn’t see (again, good reporting) and continuing with a full on costumed party night. I have to say, the Ulmer Germans do a much better job than the Seattleites of dressing up…Halloween bar-goers in Seattle are usually only 50% costumed, but in Ulm for Carnival, it was more like 100%. Being the unprepared Americans (and I a bad housewife), come Thursday afternoon, we had no costumes. I made a quick run to the already-ransacked store and by that evening, I was sporting some modified leopard ears and Chad was a cowboy. Turns out the German ladies really like an authentic American in cowboy garb…

(And if I were less lazy and the camera battery had finished charging, you’d find pictures here. But I’m not and it hasn’t so again, blogger failure.)

Today is Rose Monday and tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and the last day of Carnival so I’m not sure what the city has in store. I know there are some crazy parades going on today in Germany and at midnight tomorrow everyone’s supposed to get serious again, but between now and then I have no idea. Assuming we make it through Lent though, we’ve got a sweet trip waiting on the other side. I’ve never seen the Adriatic before.


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