We’re heading into spring and summer in Australia but this week we look at Winter festivals in Germany. Heiligen Drei Könige and Valentinstag are part of the infosheet, but what’s our very favourite winter festival of all??
Karneval!!! (also known as Fasching in the southern German, Austrian and Swiss regions)
The biggest Karneval celebrations are in the Duesseldorf, Cologne, Mainz regions with days and weeks of festivals and celebrations (and even the kids get a day off school for it!!).
Here is just one of the packed streets in Cologne during its main procession on Rosenmontag. (Rose Monday).
Each region has it’s own special Karneval’s songs, calls and processions with traditionally-dressed dancing group (this is the youngest of the Oktoberfest for Teens organising team in full Karneval club dancing regalia, ready for the town’s Karnevalsumzug (procession) … a few years ago).
If you’re near Cologne you’ll be yelling “Alaaf!” during the processions but in Mainz it’ll be “Helau”.
Groups of townspeople work for months – almost a year – to make costumes for the processions. But you don’t have to stick to the big cities – often small town Karneval processions have some of the most creative and fun costumes.
Can you pick these Oktoberfest for Teens organisers? Dressed as sun/moon/stars and a volcano they’re ready to parade with their group through a small Rhine village throwing sweets to the onlookers jammed along the footpaths .. and yelling “ALAAF!!!”.