The carnival in Villach is one of the most famous and most remarkable festivals of the town. On Saturday before Shrove Tuesday the whole city is packed with people when Prince Fidelius moves with the Villach Carnival Guild in a triumphal procession of cheerfulness through Villach. Everywhere you hear the Villach carnival greeting “Lei, Lei!”.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this great event Austria Post has released a special bright stamp that is highly recommended to our readers by StampNews.com.
Carnival meetings are held during the carnival season in the Congress Center and the best scenes are then broadcasted on Shrove Tuesday on Austrian television. This is a cheerful, flashing, perky carnival in the late winter. It symbolizes the arrival of spring. The exact origin of this holiday is unknown. In earlier times people tried to expel the winter with ugly masks, screaming and loud noise. But it could also come from the Roman Saturnalia festival.
In the Christian religion it means the eve of the last day of eating fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season before Easter. It’s easy to realise even from the other names of the holiday such as “Fastnacht” or “Fat Tuesday”. Each land has its own tradition of celebration; as a rule they include wearing masks and costumes, dancing, sports competitions and parades.