Carnival is early this year, I am happy to have Conny Kaufmann as my guest for Discovering Traditions today. She is sharing this very important German tradition, especially for those who live or are from Köln, Düsseldorf and the surrounding region. This is the 3rd Discovering Traditions post, you can find the other two here and here.
Discovering Traditions: Karneval by Conny Kaufmann
Alaaf and Helau!
They call it “The Fifth Season.” A season of fun, festivities and frivolities, before the start of Lent. And when you’re in Germany, the Rhineland region – especially Cologne – is the place to be during Karneval.
Karneval is celebrated the world over and has many names. Within Germany, you’ll hear the common Karneval, Fasching or Fastnacht, depending on regional preference. They all traditionally refer to the last full scrumptious meal before Lent, the traditional, Catholic time of fasting. Even if you have never heard of the German celebration, chances are that Carnavale do Rio de Janeiro, Notting Hill Carnival, Venetian Carnival or Mardi Gras are fests you are familiar with. They all celebrate the same thing, just in slightly different ways. Mardi Gras even translates as “Fat Tuesday”, because nice and fatty foods were restricted from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. So if your region celebrates Karneval, chances are it is – or historically used to be – predominantly Catholic. Continue reading