The Hairy Bear is perhaps Singen's most characteristic Fastnacht figure. He belongs to the species of the Straw Bears. Originally there used to be only one of them but the group has grown, it is limited to 12 bears now.
The material is pea straw. Unlike most other straw bears, however, the guy doees not have to undergo the uncomfortable procedure of being wrapped and tied in straw before every parade. The pea straw is sewn onto a fabric suit that can be put on and off more easily.
The 'bears' are most impressive at the beginning of the season (photos 1 and 2) when they look three or four times the size of the guy inside (estimated). Towards the end the straw has notably thinned out (photo 3). The straw suit has to be remade every year.
The main parade of the carnival weekend in Singen takes place on Saturday at 2 p.m. It is organized by the town's largest and oldest guild, the Poppele-Zunft. Many other guilds and groups from Singen and surroundings participate.
The parade is worth seeing if you are in the area but it is not worth travelling across half of Baden-Württemberg.
The local salutation is "Hoorig!" ("Hairy!"), referring to the Hoorige Bär , as is the local verse:
"Hoorig, hoorig, hoorig isch der säll,
und wenn der säll net hoorig wär,
denn wüscht mer net, wer hoorig wär.
Hoorig, hoorig isch der sell."
(Hairy, hairy, hairy is the one,
and if the one wasn't hairy,
we would not know who were hairy.
Hairy, hairy, hairy is the one.)
The pronunciation is like "whore" with a long o but it has nothing to do with that word - however, if you say it with an English "oo" like in "look", then it will sound like the German word for whore, so avoid misunderstandings...
Confetti attacks are very common in Singen, just as elsewhere. However, I have never anywhere else seen the kids in the crowd bring bags of confetti to throw on the jesters. Among the kids it also seems common and acceptable to spray shaving foam on each other, preferably into the hair. I noticed a level of bad manners among kids and youths in the crowd that I have so far not experienced at parades in other locations.