Through my experience I have come to know 3 types of Carnevale:
1. The local costume and/or float parade of any given italian village or city
2. The one-of-a-kind extravaganza based on old tradition, e.g., Carnevale in Bagolino
3. And of course, the most famous of them all – Carnevale in Venice
Now I can another to that list: The Egetmann Parade.
Held only on odd-numbered years and always on Fat Tuesday, Termeno’s carnevale draws an unbelievable amount of visitors as it’s said to be the biggest and the best in the province of Bolzano. Participants are all dudes – yes that would be a HE under the wig and frock – and perhaps it is for this that the collective energy was pushed to excessive testerone levels. We arrived early at around 11am to nab a prime spot for photo ops, then waited for the parade to begin an hour or so later. Food booths did brisk business selling krapfen, beer, wine, panini, and wurstel. The Burgl and Burgltreiber (a couple of characters with faces painted black), ran through the streets, gleefully smearing black makeup on the faces of unsuspecting spectators (like us).
At the Egetmannumzug, the joke’s on you!
Being forewarned, however, wouldn’t have necessarily meant being forearmed, because no amount of internet info could’ve possibly saved my dignity after the chance encounter with the Mad Doctors. One minute I was snapping pics and the next I was being told to get ready to “push” while my birthing instructor stuck a lollipop and squirted some kind of alcoholic drink in my mouth. MotH was ordered to take photos and yes, I gave birth to a black child and there was nothing that I could do about it except to say OMIGOD! (The doctors were speaking in german but then in unison they started saying Omigod! Omigod! Omigod!).
Here come the Schnappvieh!
Without a doubt the true carnevale stars of the show are the bopping, hopping, no-stopping Schnappvieh, also called Wudele. These tall, jaw-snapping beasts generated a frenetic beat so palpitating that I could not get them out of my head (my sleep!) later that evening. This is just a short clip of them but I’ll be uploading unedited footage in its entirety over at youtube.