Karneval, Fasching, Fastnacht

Posted on: February 11, 2020, by :
Fact of the month

What is it?

Karneval is the time right before Lent where people in certain regions of Germany use their last chance to get crazy before fasting (eating no or just little food) and making up for their sins and mistakes. You might have guessed it: It originates from the Christian Church.

People get dressed in fancy or crazy costumes, go to parties and costume balls and enjoy the “Tolle Tage” (Crazy Days).

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When does it take place?

As mentioned before, Karneval ends 40 days before Easter, when Lent starts. The climax of carnival is from Weiberfastnacht (women’s carnival night or Fat Thursday) to Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) and ends on Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday). Depending on the region (especially in Cologne and Mainz), the Fünfte Jahreszeit (fifth season after Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) officially starts at elften elften um elf Uhr elf (November 11 at 11:11 am).

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Different names for the same thing?

Short answer: YES! Depending on the region, Carnival is called differently:

  • Karneval: Cologne and Rheinland (Rhineland)
  • Fastnacht: Around the City of Mainz (near Frankfurt)
  • Fasching: around the city of Munich


More information:

More information can be found on the Wikipedia website.

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