GASTHAUS: got 'kraut?

Louisville's ONLY German Restaurant


Helau!! Alaaf!!

Germans are currently celebrating “Karneval” or “Fasching” as it’s called in the south.  The carneval season, also called the fifth season, actually started on November 11 at 11:11 a.m.  But it does not get really colorful until Fat Thursday or “Weiberfastnacht” on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.

Men better watch out that day! Tradition allows women to cut off the men’s tie. Not wearing a tie? Well, they’d cut off your shoe laces!! But don’t worry, it’s Karneval and all is meant in good humor. Just have another beer and laugh about it.

Throughout that weekend leading up to “Rosenmontag” Germans, often wearing costumes, celebrate in pubs and streets. Rosenmontag, the Monday before Ash Wednesday, is the big day of celebration with the most elaborate parades in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz. 

While parade floats in the U.S. often display images of civic pride and patriotism German floats are likely to make fun of politics and government.  It is not unusual for Germans to mock their own heads of state during Karneval. As a matter of fact, it is almost expected. But no one is safe from the satire, not even politicians in the U.S.

If you’re riding on a float you will probably throw candy, or “Kamelle”, to the crowd. Some of the spectators along the parade route would collect it as it “rained down” with open umbrellas.

Rosenmontag may not be an official German holiday, but many schools and places of work are off that day. Children, dressed in costumes, go door to door, much like Halloween, and collect candy. The German version of Trick or Treat is “Ich bin ein kleiner König. Gib’ mir nicht zu wenig. Gib’ mir nicht zu viel, sonst gibt’s was mit dem Besenstiel.” (now that is a mouthful, huh?)

Ash Wednesday marks the end of Karneval and start of Lent. Watch this video and its catchy song that Germans sing lamenting the end of Karneval season.

Sorry, that this post does not offer any pictures. We did not want to violate any copyrights of other photographers.  But feel free to click this link to see a gallery online.

February 9, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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