Welcome to my new blog! Following many years of graduate study in musicology (see my bio if you don't know what musicology is), I am finally embarking on my fieldwork portion of my degree, spending one year in Germany. For all the latest updates on Music, Life, and Travel, read on, friends!

Friday, April 26

Carnival in Germany

It has been way too long since my last update. I have heard the cries of my (few) fans, and I think it is time to make it up to everyone by writing some more pieces.

First, I take you all back to early February – during the Mardi Gras/Fasching/Karneval celebrations in Bonn and Cologne. Cologne is known for having the best Carnival celebration in all of Germany. Throughout the entire Rhine region where I live, craziness begins on November 11th, at 11:11 am, and continues until midnight on Ash Wednesday. Most festivities really start in January, when singing rehearsals for specific Carnival songs begin, and many attend comedy nights, either dressed super posh or in costumes.

I started my Carnival celebrations on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. This day is known as “Weiberfastnacht” – basically, it is the ladies night celebration for Carnival. I attended the parade in Beuel, across the river from Bonn, and then a friend and I went to a drinking establishment to celebrate more. Basically, Weiberfastnacht involves lots of costumed drunk people consuming too much alcohol, beginning as early as 9 am.
Here is an example of the street craziness in Beuel. Adults and children alike collect sweets, or Kamelle, and flowers, Streusle, and the inside-out umbrella is a great tool for getting more goodies.

Me in my Carnival costume at the old train station in Beuel.

Here you can see more of the Weiberfastnacht festivities. There are a lot of great costume choices, including a group of 10 men dressed as scantily clad nuns.
 I had friends in from Bremen and Hamburg to help me celebrate during the rest of the weekend. The highlight of Karneval was watching the Rosenmontag parade in Cologne. We froze a bit, laughed a bit, got pelted by candy and flowers, and got pushed into the parade space by eager parade-goers standing behind us. I wish that we could have spent more time watching the parade; there were lots of great floats that critiqued the political and social conditions in Germany, Europe, and even the USA.

All in all, it was a great experience with great friends!

The beginnings of the parade in Cologne. It went on for hours! There was some good music to listen to, and plenty of unique costumed guilds to watch.

Percussion in the streets!

I love the big caricatured puppets. The figures on the floats were even better, but we didn't get to see many of them. 

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