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German carnival (Fasching or Karneval) traditionally starts at 11:11:11 CET on each November 11 (i.e. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month). It lasts until the dawn of Ash Wednesday the following year. The highlight of the season is Rosenmontag, the Monday before Ash Wednesday. It is not a day of `roses` as the name would imply, but a day of `going wild`
('rasen', in German). Fasching is different from north to south. Up north, it is centered around Cologne and also referred to as "Karneval", down south, especially in the Black Forest area, it is called "Fastnacht".
There, its origin is pagan, whereas northern Karneval has Christian roots. What both have in common are the colorful parades, outrageous costumes and special party foods (Krapfen). The last Thursday of Karneval is called "Weiberfastnacht". On this particular day, females can do `anything` they want to do. So watch out if you are male and in one of Germany`s carnival
centers at the time!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|