/fah"shing/, n.
a carnival celebration that precedes Lent in German-speaking countries and communities; Shrovetide.
[1910-15; < G, orig. Bavarian and Austrian dial.; MHG vaschanc, vastschang, perh. equiv. to vast- Lent (G Fasten; see FAST2) + schanc distribution or pouring of drinks, referring to the dispensing of liquor prohibited during Lent]

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      the Roman Catholic Shrovetide carnival as celebrated in German-speaking countries. There are many regional differences concerning the name, duration, and activities of the carnival. It is known as Fasching in Bavaria and Austria, Fosnat in Franconia, Fasnet in Swabia, Fastnacht in Mainz and its environs, and Karneval in Cologne and the Rhineland. The beginning of the pre-Lenten season generally is considered to be Epiphany (January 6), but in Cologne, where the festivities are the most elaborate, the official beginning is marked on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. Merrymaking may get underway on the Thursday before Lent, but the truly rambunctious revelry associated with Fasching usually reaches its high point during the three days preceding Ash Wednesday, culminating on Shrove Tuesday. The names of these final days also vary regionally.

      Although the exact historical origins of Fasching are unclear, the observance of its rites is mentioned in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival (early 13th century). It was a festival that originated in the cities—most notably Mainz and Speyer—and was already established in Cologne by 1234. Traditionally, it was not only a feast before Lent but also a time during which the rules and order of daily life were subverted. This gave rise to such customs as handing over the keys of the city to a council of fools or ceremoniously letting women rule. It also inspired noisy costumed parades and masked balls; satirical and often impertinent plays, speeches, and newspaper columns; and generally excessive behaviour—all of which are still common elements of contemporary Fasching celebrations. After the Reformation, Protestant areas of Europe took exception to such Roman Catholic excesses, and carnival practices began to die out in them. See also carnival; Shrove Tuesday; Fastnachtsspiel.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Fasching — Fasching, so v.w. Carneval, s.d …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Fasching — (a. d. mittelhochd. vaschanc, »Fastnacht«), in Bayern und Österreich übliche Bezeichnung für Karneval (s.d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Fasching — Fasching, s. Karneval …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Fasching — Fasching, der deutsche Name für Carneval (s. d.) …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Fasching — Sm std. reg. (13. Jh.) Stammwort. Ostoberdeutsch für Fastnacht. Seit dem 13. Jh. als vaschanc, vaschang belegt und erst später den Wörtern auf ing angeglichen. Die Herkunft des ersten Elements ist fasa , das zu fasten gehört, zu den Einzelheiten… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Fasching — Fasching: Die südd., ursprünglich bayr. österr. Bezeichnung der ↑ Fastnacht und der ihr vorausgehenden Festzeit erscheint im 13. Jh. als vaschanc, vastschang. Das mhd. Wort ist eine Umbildung von *vast ganc (vgl. mnd. vastganc) »Fastenprozession« …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Fasching — [Network (Rating 5600 9600)] Auch: • Karneval …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Fasching — [fä′shiŋ] n. [Ger < MHG vastschang < vast, fast + schanc, a pouring out, hence, draft (of beer, liquor)] the pre Lenten period of revelry celebrated in Austria and parts of Germany …   English World dictionary

  • Fasching — 1. Fasching in Ehren wird niemand wehren. – Parömiakon, 1692. 2. In der Fasching schlagen sich die Pfaffen um die schönste Hure. – Hallaus in Calend., 54. 3. Kurzer Fasching, theures Fleisch. – Münchner Neueste Nachrichten vom 8. Februar 1864.… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

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