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Karneval !. The celebration of Carnival ( Karneval , Fasching [SE Germany & Austria] or Fastnacht [SW & Franconian area] , depending on the region) is similar to our New Orleans Mardi Gras.

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Karneval !

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    1. Karneval!

    2. The celebration of Carnival (Karneval, Fasching[SE Germany & Austria] or Fastnacht[SW & Franconian area], depending on the region) is similar to our New Orleans Mardi Gras. • It is a time for eating, drinking, festivity and merry making – “a time to break the rules, poke fun at those who make them and then to make your own new rules.”

    3. During Karneval time, the common people would make a mock government, with a prince and princess selected to rule the country during the Fasching season. Political authorities, high placed persons and sovereigns were the target of ridicule, and featured in humorous and satirical speeches. To avoid persecution and punishment, these antics were played out from behind masks and costumes.

    4. Although Carnival is celebrated in several regions throughout Germany, the most popular regions are: • Köln • Düsseldorf • Mainz

    5. Officially, Karneval starts on elftenelften elf Uhr elf (November 11th at 11:11 am). At this time people celebrate the beginning of the so-called “fünftesJahreszeit” (fifth season). • It continues, pretty low-key for about 3 months, and ends at the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, when followers of the Catholic faith prepare themselves for Easter.

    6. In the following spring, Karneval continues with Weiberfastnacht (women’s carnival night), which is the Thursday before Rosenmontag, and it is tradition that women are allowed to cut off the tie of any man within reach, and to kiss any man they want to.

    7. On the following Monday theRosenmontagszug (Rose Monday parade) takes place. • About 1.5 million people attend the one in Köln alone. • With excitement and anticipation, people line up along the main street to wait for the oncoming floats. The floats not only try to be beautiful but also represent satirical, political, and traditional topics of the area.

    8. At last year’s Fasching’s Parade (2010) The first sign says ‘Stereotype’ and the second says ‘Reality’

    9. On Tuesday, which is known as Faschingsdienstag, the festivities continue with smaller parades and parties after which everything must finally calm down for the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. • Typical simple German fare is available at the festivals: • Bretzel (fresh pretzels) • Bratwurst mitSenf in einenBrötchen (Bratwurst with mustard in a bread roll) • Glühwein (hot spiced wine) • Krapfen / Berliner (donuts-plain, jelly-filled, or chocolate/vanilla cream filled).