‘Karneval’ made in Germany

Today, I would like to talk not only about stereotypes in general but one
in particular.

Germany’s biggest cultural festival ? Surely the Oktoberfest, the
world’s biggest beer festival in the world.

While it is the world’s biggest beer festival of its kind, it is not the
biggest deal in Germany.

Many would associate Carnival with Rio and Venice or even the USA.
However, ‘Karneval’ in Germany is the biggest cultural festival going
way back a few hundred years to the 16th century.

It is popular with young and old and more than just a cultural event. It
is music, food, dance and drink as well as comedy and parades.
‘Karneval’ season starts on the 11th of November at 11.11 am every year
and end the day before Ash Wednesday. The highlight are probably the 6
days before then starting with ‘Weiberfastnacht’ on the Thursday
followed by ‘Rosenmontag’ on the Monday with it’s huge (and smaller)

The music is often based (melody wise) on Irish classic songs (,Wild
Rover’ to name one) and the big parade can be compared to the main St.
Patrick’s Day Parade, often watched by 500 000 people to a million or
even more.

‘Karneval’ is known throughout Germany but it has to be said that the
heart of ‘Karneval’ can be found in and around the Rhineland. The
biggest parades and events take place in Mainz, Köln, Bonn and Düsseldorf.

Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Hessen are the States to visit.
‘Karneval’ in the North and East of Germany is not quite as popular or
big but nonetheless growing. ‘Karneval’ in the South of Germany
(Baden-Württemberg and Bayern) has a long tradition and it’s different
from the Rhineland, more traditional and ,old’ in terms of procedures
and also customs.

With several airlines flying into Köln, Bonn and Düsseldorf in less than
90 minutes, why not make it your own German cultural experience soon?
The Rhinelanders are considered the Irish of Germany loving their drink
and a good laugh so no excuse not to go. Whether you join the people on
the left side of the Rhine yelling ‘Helau’ at the parade and carnival
events or the others on the right side of it and making ‘Alaaf’ your
motto is totally up to you.