Fastnacht is linked with the beginning of Carnival on 6 January in Southern Europe. In Thüringen Fastnacht is on 27 December. Shrove Tuesday Winter always is vanquished and Spring welcomed with laughter, merrymaking, and song. In some localities this kind of carnival celebration occurs somewhat later than Fastnacht. The character of the spring drama varies from district to district. In Eisenach, for example, where the battle of the seasons has been observed since 1286, "Summer is won" by burning Winter in effigy after his defeat by Dame Sun. http://sacred-texts.com/etc/fwe/fwe06.htm