This day is called "dirty" because "Schmutz (dirt) is the Alemannic word for "fat" and it's the day the German's make Fastnachtskrapfen, donuts fried in fat! ( and yes, they are YUMMY!)
Fasching is the German version of Mardi Gras - lots of masks, dancing, and parades! It's common to see men in masks with huge cowbells strapped on their backs trying to chase out winter with their hellish racket. A dancer follows them in a pretty costume showing spring the way.
The kids were told they could dress up for the kick off of Fasching or Carnevale...we opted not to dress Julian up, but she did get her face painted at school...you can see how cute she looked!
And why is Ava smiling...well, she turns 2 months old today!