Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Carnival Time ...

It's Carnival time in Germany. The "Fastnacht" season is a tradition that goes back to the French invasions and occupations of the Rhineland and quite a bit East of it at various times since Louis XIV sat on the French throne and cherished ambitions of being an "Emperor" of all Europe. The tradition grew up of celebrating a season leading up to Lent, in which carnival parades, parties and poking fun at politicians is the order of the day.

There are societies that spend all year planning their "Fastnacht" activities and the costumes are fabulous. This is not "Mardi Gras" or the Notting Hill Carnival, this is a long standing part of German culture and everyone shares in the fun. It's televised, people turn up in their thousands for the parades and no politician would dare refuse an invitation to the dinners and shows - you may be very sure they would be lampooned mercilessly and never allowed to forget it.

Anyone who thinks the German's have no sense of humour needs to visit during Fastnacht.


  1. I lived in Hofheim am Taunus near Frankfurt for a few months as a boy(12) 1962 - shipped out from England when my mother went mad - to stay with Uncle Fritz Bauer. This is the first time for many years I have rememebered the festival - and the first time I have known the festival's name -Thanks.

  2. I remember Fastnacht. I couldn't believe my co-workers. It was fun.