Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fastnacht 2013

One of the most interesting parts of living in Germany is experiencing Fastnacht. It goes by a couple other names depending on what region you're in, but in Mainz, it's Fastnacht. Because my husband didn't grow up in Germany, it's been difficult for me to get an exact explanation as to what Fastnacht celebrates. It's also confusing because the meaning behind the celebration has changed over time. Mainz is over 2,000 years old, so this isn't surprising. Currently, from my American observations, it's an excuse for people to dress up (like Americans do for Halloween), party for a week (like Mardi Gras) with lots of food and drink, have lots of parades (like Thanksgiving), and it coincides with Ash Wednesday. 

Last year we went to the largest Fastnacht parade in Germany and only managed to stay for 2 hours or the parade itself. We arrived early to get a good spot on the parade route. It was too cold and after 2 hours of floats and marching bands, we called it a day. The parade in Mainz lasts for several hours (I think about 5 or 6).

Because of how miserable it was to be out in such extreme cold around all of the drunk high school teenagers, this year we decided it'd be more fun to go to a masquerade ball in a neighboring town. My husband, mother-in-law, and myself were going to dress up as characters from the tv show NCIS, but my husband and I dropped the ball on getting outfits together. On the morning of the ball two weekends ago, my mother-in-law's outfit to be Abby, the Gothic forensic scientist, hadn't arrived, so we decided to scrap the idea of NCIS and used costumes they already had. My husband and I went as hippies and my mother-in-law's outfit ended up arriving later that afternoon. I wore jeans, a necklace, and headband I already had with the tie-dye shirt my mother-in-law loaned me. I also drew a peace sign with eye liner on my cheek while my husband wore a tie-dye shirt, faux leather fringed vest, sunglasses, and an afro.

We drank a lot of beer and danced to a lot of American pop songs, as well as traditional Fastnacht songs. All in all, it was a great night.

In honor of the event, I broke my hiatus (again, however, chronologically, this was the first time I broke it), to use these awesome tie-dye nail foils I received as part of my birthday club presents. 

Nail foils are really fun and can be super gorgeous. The big drawback is that they don't really last longer than an evening. If you're familiar with foils, then you know that they don't response well to topcoats, especially fast drying ones. I used my regular SV on these because I knew I'd be in a dark hall for the ball and they'd only be on for the night. 

Do you have any experience with nail foils? What are your tips for using them?

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