Members of German Club celebrate traditions of Fastnacht

Olivia Masterson, Reporter

On Thursday, February 20, German Club members celebrated the German tradition of Fastnacht, a week-long festival that takes place from Fat Thursday to Ash Wednesday. 

Fastnacht is a German version of Carnival and Mardi Gras that takes place all over Germany. There are multiple different traditions that can vary from location to location, but the tie cutting is one that has caught on in many parts of Germany. The tie cutting is a day that is dedicated to women, marking the day that they rose up and claimed a day of the festivities for themselves. On this day, women will go around cutting men’s ties as well as storming the city hall where they receive a key to the city.

The tradition of the tie cutting served as the main event of the party. Junior Della Fowler was the member chosen by the club to cut the tie of principal Mike Smith. 

“I had my scissors in my hand and I was so excited,” Fowler said. “And then my scissors were so dull so it took so long to cut the tie. I felt so awful. Mr. Smith was looking down at me just trying to cut his tie. But it was really, really fun.”

The tie cutting isn’t the only tradition celebrated during Fastnacht. It’s a week of parades and dressing up in elaborate, colorful costumes as well as generations-old wooden masks. Events take place all over the cities, each one different from the other depending on what region they’re in. Such a large scale festival is hard to replicate without being there, but the German club partied nonetheless. 

“We watched some videos on how Carnival was celebrated over there. Last year, we had some skits, but we have German exchange students, so they were more familiar with what you do,” Club sponsor and German teacher, Christina Howard explained. “This year we didn’t have any skits, but we had special foods. And then we played like silly games. And it was just, it was a fun little afternoon.”

During their party, the club members dressed up in fun costumes with capes and cat ears. They also ate traditional German dishes and played games. 

“One of the games is you had something tied in a pantyhose and you wore it on your head and we had to knock down half-filled up water bottles,” freshman Madison Mayfield said. “It was really fun.”

The party provided the club members with an opportunity to explore different parts of German culture. It was an experience that was both fun as well as educational. 

“It was nice because it’s so different,” said sophomore Julie Treesh, “It’s nice to see what other people do.”

Learning about different cultures can provide perspective on the rest of the world to those that don’t normally experience it. German club is one of a few clubs that offer this opportunity and it’s something that students can enjoy as well. 

 “I love German culture and being a part of this club, and being able to learn about culture is so wonderful,” Fowler said. “I’m really grateful for Miss Howard our sponsor and just the school in general for letting us have a German club and be able to experience culture in a way that I wouldn’t have thought we could be able to before.”