It's soon that time again. I grew up calling it Fasching, but down here it's known as Mardi Gras. Fasching, of course, starts each year on November 11, at 11:11 -- that's right, folks: 11/11 at 11:11. That's traditionally the date and time the Prince and Princess are announced. And of course, the rest of the day, the Gesellschaft, (the Krewe, for our Louisiana friends) spends walking in procession with costumed musicians from beer hall to beer hall. Indeed with trumpet and horn and drums. The insignia above is that of the Narragonia, Regensburg, the Faschingsgesellschaft (Mardi Gras Krewe) that I belonged to when I lived in Regensburg. In fact, I was elected one of the Elferrat, the company of 11 men who escort the Prince. Great fun, and loads of free beer, as you can imagine. At any rate, the rest of the time there are parties and balls and such and more parties and of course, there are the parties. So, next weekend, be sure to remember your friends who are celebrating Fasching and Mardi Gras. Meantime, I salute you all as the Narragonians do, with a rousing shout of RADI, RADI!! RADI, RADI!!
(Note on the toast: Literally, it means "radish, radish!". The white radish is also one of the Narragonia's traditional symbols at Fasching. I remember once having to stand post at the bandstand holding up a banner on which was emblazoned an enormous aplique radish)