If someone in a costume with a wide grin coerces you to have a schnapps on a Thursday morning, you’ll know: the main phase of the Konstanz Carnival has begun. Depending where you live you might have noticed this a few hours earlier, when loud music from drums and brass instruments gave you a rude awakening.
The ‘Schmotzige’ (Dirty Thursday)
If you managed to avoid the schnapps, you might still be stopped by young kids on the next street who are taking advantage of the anarchic times and play the game of extorting toll money from you before letting you pass. In the meantime the town hall has been invaded by people in costumes (Hästräger) and you’re not likely to see anyone wearing a tie at the university on “Dirty Thursday”, the most important day of Carnival in Konstanz.
Important facts: The traditional “Butzenlauf” on Wednesday evening (from Schnetztor to Obermarkt) is a good way to get started. By “Dirty Thursday” the whole city has become a complete madhouse without curfew. Before people head to the bars, the traditional “Hemdglonker” parade (in white nighties) takes place in the alleys of Konstanz. After the carnival balls on Saturday there is another big parade through the old town on Sunday. Ho Narro! (that’s how people here greet each other the whole week).
Need Ear Protection?
The commotion gradually slows down from Carnival Monday on, although you still might want to take part in the sausage snatching events (Wurschtschnappen) on Marktstätte? To sum up: those who are not keen on the hubbub should keep their ear plugs handy for the library from “Dirty Thursday” on.