Karneval – Fasching – Fastnacht

Three different words one meaning. It simply means Carnival in english. Carnival is a regional festival and is celebrated in different ways according to different local traditions. It?s known as:

Karneval in the Rheinland area.

Fastnacht around the city of Mainz (‘fasting night’, or eve of Lent, the period of fasting).

Fasching around the city of Munich (M?nchen) and in Austria.

Fastnacht is related to the Germanic word ?fasten? (to fast, abstain from eating).
Karneval is related to the Latin ?carnem levare? (to remove meat)

Carnival season (season nang mga baliw at ng gustong magpaka baliw like me) is a time of wild fancy-dress parties and costume-balls (hihihi kong hindi lang malamig 3 band-aid ay pwede nang isuot…oh what a daring thought), which are open to the public. Carnival reaches its climax in big street processions with elaborately decorated floats, usually on Rosenmontag. Carnival celebrations happen mainly in the Catholic parts of Germany. Nevertheless, Karneval parties do occur in some places in the north of Germany.

Officially it starts “am elften elften elf Uhr elf” (11th November at 11:11am) and continues in a fairly low-key way for about three months before the Tolle Tage (Crazy Days) which climax on Rosenmontag, the 42nd day before Easter. Carnival season is traditionally seen as a chance for people to go wild and at magladlad ng kanilang kapa before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. In the Christian church Lent is a serious time before Easter for fasting (I’m a bad christian kaya kumakain pa rin ako kahit Fastenzeit) and making up for your sins and mistakes (every year I get confused where to start dahil sa dami ng kasalanan ko).

Carnivals are held in southern German cities, and in the Rheinland cities of Mainz, Aachen, Bonn and D?sseldorf. The biggest and zaniest Karneval is in K?ln. The first written record of the K?ln carnival is from the year 1341. K?ln has the Dreigestirn (three Stars): the Carnival Prince (known as Seine Tollit?t, ?His Craziness?), the Bauer (peasant) and the Jungfrau (virgin). The Jungfrau has always been a man. It is a great honour to be a member of the Dreigestirn, and they are elected each October from the members of K?ln?s 105 historic carnival associations.

Army officerThe K?ln carnival involves heaps of street-parties and pub-parties, with people disguising themselves in all sorts of ways. In fact, on Rosenmontag you stand out as unusual if you aren?t wearing

some sort of mad costume or haven?t painted a clown-face on yourself. At the parades and costume-balls people are dressed as sheiks, Vikings (with hairy coats and horned helmets), Attila the Hun, clowns and harlequins, devils, witches, animals, or fruit, and in many other creative ways.

K?ln?s many Karneval associations put a lot of effort into building and decorating the floats for the Rosenmontag parade. As the floats pass by, the costumed people on board them pelt the street crowds with lollies and sweets. The people are like hungry animals na nagtutulakan at nag-aagawan. Minsan if your’re not careful it might happen na matatamaan ka sa mga pinagtatapon na candies. When we watch parade we always have umbrella with us. It serves not only as protection kundi pansalo na rin ( it’s only possible kong babaligtarin ito).

Weiberfastnacht (women?s carnival night) is the Thursday before Rosenmontag, and it is tradition that women are allowed to cut off the tie of any man within reach (our boss and male colleagues were our victims), and to kiss any man they want to (yikes). Women going out that night to pubs take scissors with them. Rosenmontag is not an official holiday but in areas of Germany that celebrate Karneval, workers usually get the day off. On Rosenmontag German television devotes a lot of time to Karneval am Rhein.

As described above, Karneval is associated with festivals of the Christian church (wild partying before Lent begins). However, it goes back to pagan times, and was a way of driving out the evil spirits of winter and encouraging the coming of spring and good crops. Ugly masks worn for this purpose are still worn in carnival festivals in southern Germany.

Karneval can be traced back to pagan Roman festivals, which may explain why K?ln and Mainz, two ancient cities with Roman history, have such big carnivals. In the Middle Ages, Karneval gave the people a break from the tightly structured class system, as they were able to hide their social background behind imaginative masks and costumes. Poor people were able to mix with all other levels of society and share fun with them. In those days people would dress up as knights, damsels and even priests, as a way of making fun of them. In a similar way, people these days sometimes wear masks which make fun of well-known politicians or celebrities.

The Wiking => dedicated to Stella’s son 🙂

I myself love to wear funny costumes, I even sewed clown costume for each one of us not knowing na hindi ko rin pala magagamit this year dahil uuwi ako. Poor Kathleen, she has to go alone this time…


Beng Hafner is my name. I am proud to be who I am and I am proud of the way I am. I am alive because I have a lot to live for. I have many dreams that I wish to reach for and I have many journeys to make.

My life is like a soap opera, and you are the audience.


  • it’s amazing how a costume/mask can transform you inside too…as if it unleashes a magical being to come out and manifest itself…and who’s that ravishing blue haired beauty??? my son would love to see those vikings! salamat for sharing their traditions…

  • hi ate beng, hope u dont mind me calling you ate. musta na po kayo? these festivals are amazing. how long have you lived there na ba? umuwi ba kayong family nung xmas? wala lang po, just wanted to say hello lang!

  • Stel, I modified this entry and added the picture of the “Wiking” for your little boy to see. Oh btw, that ravishing blue haired beauty is my husband. Ang landi niya ano?

  • knoiz, i don’t mind it at all i felt honored pa nga eh 🙂 . i was not home last christmas dahil naka schedule kaming uuwi this year…next week on thursday na nga ang flight ko. and oh 21 years na ako dito sa germany…that means i have spent half of my life here already 🙁

  • harharhar! you made his day tita beng!
    malandi at maganda,si Mr. game na game…naku uuwi ka? next thurs.? kain mo ko ng manggang hilaw ha, piko preferably…have a great bakasyon and serene journey. i feel happy for you.

  • stel, game na na game nga siya. i read him your first comment and he was laughing. ‘di niya alam na inilagay ko sa site ang picture niya, lumaki tuloy ang puso. yup uuwi ako kasama si little boy and we are staying there ’til april 11. i’ll eat one or two baskets of hilaw na mangga for you and every bite i’ll think of you, say moh? i’ll update this blog from time to time with pics if time permits. siyempre i’ll gonna miss you guys here kaya kahit nasa bakasyon ako sisilip pa rin ako dito. truelily yang sinabi ko. thank you so much for the “words” my dear. you’re such a nice person 🙂

  • Beng, such happy pictures…I find yours and hubby’s the best! Ang taray ng hair do ni hubby ha ha ha! (isa talaga taste namin ni tita Stel ^_^) Uuwi ka pala, I wish you and your son a safe flight and of course a fantastic time in the Phils. Please do continue posting and keep us updated. Btw, ikain mo ako, please…ng ube ice cream, yung ‘selecta’ mark ha, and matamis na matamis na mangga!!

  • i was not expecting that you guys will like that pic of my hubby…nagmukha kasi siyang vakla bwahahaha! a pity hindi ko nakunan ng whole body. you will be more amaze sana. thank you so much for the good wishes dear thess. you beat i’m going to have a terrific time there. aba aba pareho pala tayo favorite ice cream, yummmy…ube ice cream. oh my gush ngayon palang naglalaway na ako. oh oh, there will be no diet this time. thess, dalhan kita ng mangga pagbalik ko gusto mo?

  • Mommy, alam mo nagtratrabaho ako nang mapansin ko meron ka na namang bagong post. Ang haba, ‘di ko tuloy nabasa ng husto. Busy sa trabaho. Malapit na nga pala ang 27 ano? Enjoy your trip with bunso. Sisilip-silip pa rin ako sa scream box mo.

  • Mommy Tinggg, I miss you na talaga. I visited your site a couple of times today and attempted to write a comment but I’m having a hard time opening it. Waaa, gusto ko lang kasing malaman mo na present ako…pero lintik na blogger na yan ayaw yata sa akin. Ahem, mommy naman inigsi-an ko na nga yon eh. ‘Tsaka what is 2 minutes and 28 seconds 🙂 Never mind I understand you’re so busy kaya tama na yong preview sa yo. 27 is right infront of my door na nga and I’m really excited. Mommy, I’ll be around kahit nandoon ako kaya don’t hesitate to live a message. Don’t work so much ha and take care of yourself. Many thanks for the wishes 🙂

  • naku beng natatawa ako lagi to see your hubby…it says a lot about his sense of humor. salamat ulit…may pagkokopyahan na ko for my son’s halloween costume, i have 10 months to make…naku ube ice cream, macapuno, kakanin…ang tagal mo, que sarap sarap ng long vacation. haven’t been home in a long time…naku dadako nga ako kay ting aling and thess to say thank you for leading me to you…heehee ang drama ko ano.

  • Really, favorite mo UBE ice cream? my kind of girl! ha ha…at isa pang REALLY?! (ang kulit ano ^_^) OMG, kung hindi makakabigat sa dalahin, kakapalan ko na mukha ko at OO sagot ko sa tanong mo about mangoes!! Please please just tell me how much it’ll cost you, I will pay you. Btw, I’ll be in Hanau next month to meet with other bloggers living in Germany…how I wish you’re there.

  • stel, to be honest very reserve yang asawa ko…kunyari a dignified person baga (siguro dahil na rin profession niya). opposite nga kaming dalawa eh. i am madada and bungisngis tapos siya eh tahimik at pangiti-ngiti lang. Pagdating sa mga kalokohan ako ang may pakana lagi, mabuti na lang at nahihila ko rin siya. nagustuhan pala ni dash ang wiking costume…good choice and it keeps him warm dahil malamig din diyan in nov. di ba? tama lang stel na ikain kita ng mga gusto mo doon dahil ang tagal mo na palang hindi nakauwi. i am sure ako’y magmukhang butete pagbalik ko dito…never mind, reserved fat ko na yon for the coming winter 🙂

  • Thess, hihihihi…i loveeee ube ice cream at wala ng iba (piks man). When I’m home I always buy an extra galloon just for me dahil matatakaw din ang pamilya ko doon. Suwapang noh? Misis hindi ko ipinagbibili yong manggang dadalhin ko ha kaya don’t ask me for “how much” (hihihi). I’m the one who offer you kaya tumahimik ka na diyan. Waaa, bruha ka talaga…you’re going to Hanau without me. My dear I am very familiar to that place and I have a sister who live in Darmstadt. Sayang na sayang at wala ako, di sana sabay tayong pupunta doon. What a small world…imagine nakatira kami dati near Hanau for a long time.

  • Halika na sa Hanau, wag ka na umuwi sa Pinas! (^0^) mababait pala talaga taga Hanau ( si Thess panay bola, OO na may mangga ka!) hahahahaha

    Actually My husband and I (pati doggy) were invited by a very nice blogger living in Hanau…pagbalik mo, imma make an intro between you guys, cos like you, she’s also nice. Basta balik ka agad ha! ( and I thank you in advance for the mangoes…with or without it, it’s the thought that counts!!) just come back safe.

    cge, manginggit ka sa ube ice cream *drooling*

  • Madaya talaga ang panahon, kong bakit ngayon lang kita na meet. Di bale babalik din naman ako eh at huwag mo na akong bilugin dahil bilog na akoh. Seriously salamat sa lahat ng komplimento mo. Kaya nga dadalhan kita ng mangga dahil magaling kang mag sales talk eh. Okay miss nice gurl talk to you later, gising na si mister 😉

  • “Madaya ang panahon, bakit ngayon lang kita na meet”

    para naman tayong labers nyan! ha ha ha! cge shut up na ako kasi baka maunsyami mangga ko.

    Have a nice day!

  • coucou madame beng!
    In France we call it ‘Mardi Gras’, if I would translate it literally, it’s ‘Fatty Tuesday’, haha!
    So malapit na vacation mo, how long are you gonna stay there? kainggit ka!

    ^-^ boks

  • coucou din mademoiselle bok 🙂 join ka rin ba sa mardi gras diyan? hihihi show me some pic naman oh.

    matagal ako doon sa atin, i have to wait for my sis kasi. i’m staying there til 11th of april, nice dahil hindi na masyadong malamig pagbalik ko dito.


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Beng Hafner is my name. I am proud to be who I am and I am proud of the way I am. I am alive because I have a lot to live for. I have many dreams that I wish to reach for and I have many journeys to make.

My life is like a soap opera, and you are the audience.

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