The period from January 6 until Ash Wednesday, which varies in length every year, is called fašiangy in Slovakia. In the midst of winter, fašiangy lightens the darkness of the season. It is all about carnivals, parties, music and fun.
Fašiangy is rooted in the Middle Ages when people, for a brief period of time, had an opportunity to turn the world upside down. Women could act as men, servants became masters, and pranks, jokes and laughter marked the occasion. The carnivals and balls are a remnant of these times.
In the countryside, this was also the time of weddings and hearty food heavy on meat. People had time to plan and hold weddings because they could not yet work in the fields. Because the weather was cold, it was the ideal time for butchering pigs. Meat had to be consumed fast, another reason this was a wedding season. Fašiangy is the period between Advent and Easter fast. This was a rare opportunity to indulge in meat, so seasonal dishes featured many meaty specialties, and even the poor tried to make the most of the carnival season.
Fašiangy ends the weekend before Ash Wednesday by burying the double-bass,
a symbolic end of fun, music, and partying.