Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fastnacht

Fastnacht also known as Fasching or Karneval in Germany and Carnevale in Italy and Mardi Gras in France and  most commonly Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday in America is an exciting celebration of excesses.  Fastnacht in some regions in Germany begins November 11th at 11am or 11.11:11.  I have not been able to find out why that exact date and hour but it is what it is.  The begining of  Fastnacht or Fasching in November is a time of celebration of the ending of winter and preparation for the coming of Lent with it's period of fasting and denial.  But before Lent starts the German people - especially in Koln (Cologne), Germany begin celebrating life and the beauty of each other with music, food, beer, dancing and large celebrations and parades.  In Italy Carnevale - which literally means without meat - also looks forward to the end of winter and the beginning of Lent and the Italians also celebrate with great festivals and beautiful masks and balls.  In America - for the most part - we limit our celebrating to the day before Lent by eating local favorites which may be doughnuts, pancakes, or Pączki (if you are Polish). 
To celebrate life is good - to enjoy life is better - to prepare for eternal life is best. Yes, today we celebrate and indulge ourselves - but tomorrow will come all too soon and with it the beginning of Lent and all that it entails. In this day enjoy all that you have and all that you hold dear.  Celebrate with family and friends, with co-workers and enemies alike because in all this celebration is God, for He has created all things for us to experience and enjoy.  God bleses our celebrations of life, if we ask Him.  He wants to be with us constantly and when we recognize that God is all in all - then we can truly celebrate the life that He has blessed us with.

Deacon Dale 

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