„How to Karneval“ – A Carnival Guide for Dummies
Hey party people! Are you planning on visiting Germany this year? If so, then there’s one festival that you simply have to be a part of – and its name is Karneval!!! The German Carnival Season, a.k.a. Karneval or Fasching, is just around the corner; and if you have no idea what these shenanigans are all about and how to celebrate, then carry on scrolling.
What is Carnival and how does one get their Carnival groove on?
In a nutshell, Carnival is essentially one big long party consisting of street parades, music, dancing, singing and of course, the odd beverage – think Notting Hill Carnival but 10 times bigger. The whole idea is to lose your inhibitions by dressing up in the wildest Costumes & Accessories imaginable and getting into the party spirit. One saying is that horizontal and vertical barriers are overcome in costume. Being in the costume game, we at party.de could not agree with this more!
Whether you’re celebrating at a street parade, in an arena, or even on a party boat – during Carnival, you will be surrounded by tons of weird and wonderfully-dressed characters from all over the globe. From kids to old-age pensioners; this sweet celebration of life is for anyone and everyone – so throw your costume on and leave your inhibitions at the door ;).
A bit of history
Maybe you’ve already heard about Deutschland’s biggest annual party season, however if not, we’re here to give you the 411 on Carnival. The Carnival we know today started off exactly 200 years ago in Cologne and has since become an annual celebration across the whole of the country. The scale of this festival is mind-boggling and to give you an idea of its size, Cologne Carnival attracts 1 million people alone and has a whopping 450 societies on their Festival Committee. Similarly to most European traditions, the festival itself has deep religious roots and is believed to date back to pagan times.
Importantly, depending on which region you are celebrating in, you may hear Carnival referred to by lots of different names – from Karneval to Fasching, to Fastnacht. The long duration of the festival has also resulted in it being known as ‘the 5th Season’, running from the 11th November right through to Ash Wednesday. This year, the big celebrations take place on the 11th November, and between the 16th – 21st February respectively.
- 11.11. – Carnival Season officially starts
- Fat Thursday – 6 days before Ash Wednesday – The real party begins!
- Carnival Weekend – Friday, Saturday & Sunday before Ash Wednesday
- Rose Monday – Last celebrations
- Ash Wednesday – Official end of Carnival Season
Top Costume Themes
We are sure you all wish to know ‘how to Karneval’ so here goes. First things first, let’s talk Costumes. Why? Because without one, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
During Carnival, you will see a huge array of costume styles and themes. If you are stuck trying to find the perfect costume or accessory that shows off your personality, then look no further than party.de. We have every type of outfit from Top Gun pilots to 70’s Disco Divas. Popular costume themes include:
- Hippies & 70’s
- Cowboys & Native Americans
- 1920’s Charleston
- Retro 80’s
Karneval 2023 Trends
Want to know the exact carnival costume trends? Here are a few ideas that will surely make you look good at carnival:
- Group Costumes
- Animal Onesies
- Barbie & Ken
- 90’s Celebrities
- Top Gun Maverick
- Cowboy Hats
- Party Glasses
- Cupid’s Bow & Arrow
Fun facts & Highlights:
- Common Carnival Expressions:
- Cologne = ‘Alaaf’
- Dusseldorf = ‘Helau’
- A ‘Jeck’ refers to a crazy Carnival-goer
- Cologne Carnival 200-year anniversary takes place in 2023 – ALAAF!!!!
- Similarly to Oktoberfest, this public event has no entry fee.
- Fat Thursday, or ‘Weiberfastnacht’ is one of the „craziest“ days. This is when the Street Parades start and things really hot up. Basically, it is a day for women, as they symbolically take over the reins. It is a custom for women to cut the tie off of every man they meet as a sign of their temporary rule #girlpower
- The sale of Doughnuts, Pancakes and Pastries increases dramatically during Carnival Season. It’s truly calorific!
- During Parades, sweets or ‘Kamelle’ are thrown from Floats for the crowds to catch and enjoy.
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