Monday, February 15, 2010

Rosenmontag

Today is another taste of Germany - a very wild taste.

In Germany and other German-speaking countries like Austria and Switzerland, today is a very festive day, the high point of Fasching (fah-shing). Fasching, or German Karneval, is much like Mardi Gras in the States and Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday, is comparable to Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

Celebrations usually include dressing up in costumes, dancing in the streets, parades and heavy drinking. Drinking in Germany? No way! Though not a national holiday, in many of the cities that strongly follow tradition (Cologne, Dusseldorf, Mainz), many companies and schools close the Thursday before Rosenmontag through Tuesday. Just before midnight on Tuesday, there is a solemn procession to the Rathaus (rot-house), or city hall and they usher in Ash Wednesday and Lent.

You can see what a fun bunch the Germans can be!





Ever been to Mardi Gras? If so, care to share your experience?

6 comments:

Rachel Lynne said...

Looks like a great time! My step son and his family live about 40 miles outside of Mobile, Alabama and we went with them to Mardi Gras one year. It was a blast. My daughter was three and the people on the float kept tossing her stuffed animals, we filled three grocery bags with them and tons of beads, and plastic cups! Do they do that in the German version?
Never been to New Orleans' party but my cousin lives there and says it isn't family friendly like Mobile's so I doubt we'd go. I'd join you in Germany for Rosenmontag though!

Mary Ricksen said...

Never been there, but it sure looks like they are having fun!

Jae Lynne Davies said...

I've never been there or to NOLA, but both look like a blast! I can say one thing about Germany, they sure do have excellent wine. My best friend's brother was stationed in Germany a few years ago. She went to visit and came back with several bottles of wine. Needless to say, they didn't last long.

Riley Quinn said...

No, I don't believe they throw out the toys and beads but they do throw candy, Rachel. You should so come over here. We'd have a blast.

Yes, great wine and beer. Food is good too. Germany is definitely a great place to visit, or in my case, live.

Carol Henry said...

Riley, we lived in Germany for three years and attended some while fasching parties. We lived in Bitburg just down from the Bitburg brewery. The huge fountain in front of their buidling would be flowing with beer. You could buy a mug and help yourself. You are so right, the wine (Mosel) and beer were great, as was the food. Very fond memories of the country.

Jeannene Walker said...

I just found this in my email. Where I lived in Germany, we called this Fasching. The costumes and music bring back fond memories. We had a blast.

Jeannene

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