Rosenmontag in Germany

What is really special for today in Germany? What celebration does German people celebrates today? I did not knew it until my husband told me after he came home from work this afternoon. I told him why you did not tell me that so that I can watch the live parades on TV. It was too late now!! I don’t know if they will going to rewind it tonight or maybe tomorrow..But sad to say, I won’t be home tomorrow too. Actually today is the so called “Rosenmontag” in Germany. It is one of the liveliest and exciting events during the year. I need now to consult the expert in Wikipedia to let you know more infos about Rosenmontag which is the higlight of the German Carnival. it is!!

photos from the Fasching or carnival in Velburg, Germany

Rosenmontag (which means “running Monday” from the Kölsch word roose (run) and not Roses’ Monday) is the highlight of the German “Karneval” (carnival), and is on the Collop Monday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. The “Mardi Gras,” though celebrated on Tuesday, is a comparison. Rosenmontag is celebrated in German-speaking countries, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but most heavily in the “Hochburgen”, German carnival strongholds, which include the Rhineland (especially Cologne, Düsseldorf, Aachen, and Mainz). The Karneval season begins at 11 minutes past the eleventh hour on the 11th of November and the “street carnival” starts on the Thursday before Rosenmontag, which is known as Weiberfastnacht (“women’s carnival”). Karneval is prevalent in Roman Catholic areas and is a continuation of the old Roman traditions of slaves and servants being master for a day. Karneval derives from the Latin “Carne Vale” – literally Goodbye Meat marking the beginning of Lent. Carnival is not a national holiday in Germany, but schools are closed on Rosenmontag and the following Tuesday in the strongholds and many other areas. Many schools as well as companies tend to give teachers, pupils and employees the Friday before Rosenmontag off as well and have celebrations in school or in the working place on Weiberfastnacht, although every now and then there are efforts to cut these free holidays in some companies. Celebrations usually include dressing up in fancy costumes, dancing, parades, heavy drinking and general public displays with floats. Every town in the Karneval areas boats at least one parade with floats making fun of the themes of the day. Usually sweets (Kamelle) are thrown into the crowds lining the streets among cries of “Helau” (Mainz area) or “Alaaf” (Cologne area). Little bottles of Kölnischwasser (eau de Cologne) are thrown into the crowd. Things go quiet the next day, known as “Veilchendienstag” (Shrove Tuesday). A Flock of Seagulls recorded a song called “Rosenmontag” for their 1983 album Listen. The song was eventually used as a b-side and consisted of Arthur Baker-inspired hip-hop beats with guitar noise.


3 Responses to “Rosenmontag in Germany”

  1. Carrie Says:

    Ruby—This is Art again. I just had to write and say again how much I enjoy your blogs. The explanations that you give about things such as Rosenmontag are a true learning experience that is much more enjoyable than just looking at some pictures. Keep up the good work. The only problem is that you make me wish that I was going to be back in Germany again this year. But it is not to be. This year my savings are going toward a trip to Greece and Egypt. Thanks again, and yes I am posting this comment by way of my ex-wife’s google account….Art

  2. Euroangel Says:

    Hi Art happy to see you again and leaving some footprints I wish you a happy trip in greece and egypt..those places are included in my list…next time maybe..

    i just feel happy when I can share something about germany where i already considered my new home..

    have a safe and sound trip

  3. chrissred Says:

    Thanks for sharing your pictures and info on German culture. Sa yo ko lang nalalaman talaga ito. Salamat!


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