Karneval is also known as the silly season in Germany. Although it officially begins on the 11th of November (on the 11th of the 11th at 11:11 o’clock), there is a winter break and the biggest days of Karneval this year are from the 8th to the 13th of February.
Karneval is made up of the following main days:
Thursday – Weiberfastnacht ([Old] Women’s Karneval)
Friday – Ruβiger Freitag (Sooty Friday)
Saturday – Nelkensamstag (Carnation Saturday)
Sunday – Tulpensonntag (Tulip Sunday)
Monday – Rosenmontag (Rose Monday)
Tuesday – Fastnachtdienstag (Shrove Tuesday)
Tuesday marks the end of Karneval and is followed by Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday) which is the first day of lent.
Karneval is celebrated in many regions throughout Germany, but is sometimes also referred to as Fasching or Fastnacht. Some German Karneval traditions can be traced back to hundreds of years ago when people would dress up in bright colours and wear scary masks to scare away the devil or the evil spirits of winter.
Nowadays, Karneval celebrated with costumes, parades, eating and merriment! The festivities begin on Weiberfastnacht – the day of the women! On this day women rule! The party continues on Sooty Friday where the carnival proceedings are shown on most TV channels – the day features dances, sketches and speeches. On Saturday and Sunday there are smaller parades in the small cities or villages where groups dress up in matching costumes and walk in an organised parade throwing out candy and other goodies to the bystanders. These two days are also known as the calm before the storm that is Rosenmontag. On Rosenmontag the big cities, such as Mainz and Cologne host their parades which are attended by thousands of spectators. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Karneval and people will often attend a ball where they take off their mask at midnight to reveal their true identities.
Information and images retrieved from