Schramberg is located in the Swabian part of the Black Forest. The costumes worn by the local jesters resemble those of the traditional guilds further east towards the Neckar valley. The Narro with a stick full of Brezeln is related to the ones in Oberndorf. The white, painted Häs is worn in many places along the Neckar and in the eastern Black Forest, like Villingen, Rottweil and again Oberndorf.
Jester types are:
- the Narro in white painted Häs and a mask with devil's horns
- the Hansel who distributes pretzels to those who can say a verse
- the Bach-na-Fahrer (see separate tip)
- the Brüele who is the Sad Clown, a crying jester
Two individual figures:
- the jester bailiff, who is named Endivienbutz . This mask recalls the face of the last real bailiff in town, who had a little vegetable shop for some additional income and was nicknamed "Endivienbutz" ("endive bailiff") in town.
- the Kehraus ("Cleanup") who carries a big broom and sweeps the winter away. This figure was created in the 1920s when the Fastnacht was believed to be an ancient pagan rite to drive winter away. Research proved this opinion wrong but the figure stayed.
The jester guild created a Häs for the Bach-na-Fahrer. A group of them, not necessarily the same people who actually ride the tubs down the Schiltach but also children among them, is part of any parade. The Häs recalls the clothing of the rafters on the creeks and rivers. It was designed already in 1939, three years after the first Bach-na-Fahrt.
It consists of a blue work shirt, black pants and boots, a laughing mask and a long-haired wig under a black pointed cap. The first and the last tub on the Schiltach are undecorated and ridden by a guy in this Häs. For the parade, tub and captain are transported by a tractor.
The walking Bach-na-Fahrer carry a bottomless wooden tub around their waist. The tub is inscribed with the refrain of the jester march. This verse is to be shouted by the spectators to receive goodies.
The verse in Swabian:
Dr Bach na, dr Bach na,
mit Kummer un mit Sorga,
bis am Asch-, bis am Asch-
Down the river, down the river,
with sorrow and with care,
until Ash, until Ash,
until Ash Wednesday morning!
On the day of the Bach-na-Fahre, Schramberg's biggest Fastnacht event, the local jester guild are doing a parade in town afterwards. The parade begins at 15:00 on Carnival Monday, about 45 minutes after the end of the event on the river. Hardly enough time to grab a bite or a drink at some stall and find a good position in the main street.
Apart from Schramberg's local guild (Narrenzunft), the participants are guilds from the villages in the wider surroundings of the town. As usual, beware of the witches... although, come to think of it, one witch provided me with a cup of hot mulled wine which was more than welcome!
The bears were friendly and cute, though.