Discovering Traditions: Karneval by Conny Kaufmann

Discovering Tradition

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 “Discovering Traditions: Karneval by Conny Kaufmann”

A Day For Kings

Yesterday (6th of January), was Epiphany or King’s Day, Königstag in German. I had the pleasure of having Robin Rivera as my guest to share her memories and traditions regarding Epiphany. If you missed her beautiful post, the second of Discovering Traditions, then you can read that here. Today, I want to share my own memories of the Königstag.

While being a very young Child in Germany, I lived near Cologne, the 6th of January was be a public holiday (if I recall correctly), on that day children older than myself (aged about 9 or 10), dressed up as the three wise men with a star, would come from door to door asking for a little money that would be given to a charitable project with their church. In exchange they wrote the number of the year and the letters of the three kings on the doorframe with consecrated chalk. Blessing the home or house for the year to come. This year you will be able to read:

20 + C + M + B + 16 Continue reading “A Day For Kings”

Discovering Traditions: Epiphany by Robin Rivera

Discovering Tradition

Today, is Epiphany and I am happy to welcome back Robin Rivera for this second Discovering Traditions guest post, as well as her second guest appearance on my blog. You can find her advent calendar contribution here, and read the previous Discovering Traditions post by Dr Gulara Vincent about New Year’s here.

Epiphany Robin Rivera

When I was young, the Epiphany was a joy. It was a last little Christmas to prolong the holiday season, and I loved it. Before bed on the eve of the Epiphany (January 5th) my mother would tell us stories about the three kings. My mother went to a strict Catholic girl’s school, and her stories were vivid and packed with countless details. That night we filled our oldest pair of shoes with straw and set them outside along with a bowl of water. Continue reading “Discovering Traditions: Epiphany by Robin Rivera”

If we were having coffee – 2 January 2016

Pomegranates
Welcome to my first coffee post of 2016! What would you like? Some tea (as always there is a huge choice of teas and origins), water, apple juice, milk? I am sorry my great aunt’s Christmas cookies are so good that they are all gone, but I have great pomegranates from Turkey, they are huge and really really good.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a very happy, good, prosperous, healthy, successful year 2016! Do you have any resolutions for this sparkling new year, any projects? I will be sharing my resolutions on the 18th of January on Melanie Noell Bernard’s blog she is having guest bloggers share their resolutions during January. Continue reading “If we were having coffee – 2 January 2016”

Discovering Traditions: New Year’s Eve Celebration Soviet Style by Dr Gulara Vincent

Discovering Tradition

At the last day of this year 2015 I would like to welcome back Dr Gulara Vincent with the inurgal post for the Discovering Traditions guest series. You can find her first guest post on my blog here.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Soviet Style by Dr Gulara Vincent

As a child, I used to love the 1st of December. Not because there was some special festival on that day. But we were finally in December! That meant there were only 30 days before New Year’s Eve. I counted down the days to the celebration (why did time go so slow back then?). To make the wait bearable, I bought cards and wrote careful unimaginative messages to my family members. I also bought ‘khlopushkas’, poppers sold as tubes full of confetti. You had to pull a string and there was a pop with confetti scattering everywhere. Some tubes even contained a small toy or a carefully folded paper mask. I hated the pop it made, so I often made a hole on the top of a tube and took the contents out. Continue reading “Discovering Traditions: New Year’s Eve Celebration Soviet Style by Dr Gulara Vincent”