Karneval

 

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Karneval

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History Many years ago, Karneval ('Carnival') was celebrated to scare away winter spirits. After many months of frost, runny noses and catching colds, the old Germans were tired of winter. To scare away the winter spirits, people wore scary masks. They also sang and danced in the streets to welcome spring.


Karneval today Today, Karneval is celebrated in many German cities, especially in the Rhineland. (In the south, it is often known as 'Fasching'). Karneval celebrations can last as long as five days in total. Some cities are even brought to a complete stand-still during the noisy celebrations. The streets are full of people celebrating, dancing and throwing confetti!

Costumes Kids have lots of fun because they can sing fun songs. Like the adults, kids also wear crazy and colourful costumes. They wear masks and dress up as animals, cowboys, knights, witches or clowns, and in many other creative ways.


Rosenmontag Parade Cologne has one of the biggest Karneval celebrations. It holds a Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday) parade with giant floats and marching bands in costumes. People in costumes throw lollipops and other sweets from the floats. In order to receive sweets, it is important to shout the special Karneval word for sweets: "KAMELLE!".
What do people catch at the Rosenmontag parade?
  1. Eggs and tomatoes
  2. Sweets and flowers
  3. Rose petals

Three stars Karneval has three important figures - the Dreigestirn ('three stars'): the Carnival Prince, the peasant and the Virgin. On the Rosenmontag Parade, the Carnival Prince's float is always the biggest one, with the most decoration. There is also a children's Dreigestirn. The kids even have their own guards dressed in blue and gold uniforms!

Do you want to find out more about Karneval? This website has lots of interesting facts and things to make and do: www.kidsweb.de

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