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Archive for the 'Karneval' Category

Die Narren

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Die Narren sind los! Die Narren is a name given to someone who entertains other people, much like a jester.

There are several versions as to where the word comes from. Some believe that it comes from the Latin word nario for turning one’s nose up at something, others claim it comes from narrare – to narrate or tell a story.

At carnival time the Narren refers to the people who dress up for processions and Sitzungen, and is also used as an adjective: närrisch.

There is also a saying in German “macht mich nicht närrisch” – don’t drive me mad!

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Berliner

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Berliners are a form of doughnut, often filled with jam.

The story of their invention is possibly only a legend, but it is said that they were created by a baker from Berlin who was trying to create something that could be cooked on a battlefield without an oven. He placed the balls of dough into hot fat to create the form that we know today.

The Konditorberliner in Hessen are normally filled with raspberry jam, but at carnival time there are Berliners without jam, with strawberry jam, iced, with coffee or even alcohol creams in them.

Other words for Berliner are: Krapfen, Kreppel and Fastnachtsküchle.

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Karneval – Fasching – Fastnacht

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Karneval, also known as Fasching or Fastnacht (even Fasnet, Fasnacht or Fasenacht), officially begins on 11th November at 11:11, but it only really gets going after Ephiphany.

However the really mad days only start on the Thursday before Rosenmontag, when the main events such as the processions take place.

This Thursday is also known as the Weiberfastnacht – on this day the women celebrate. (A word of warning to all men: don’t wear a tie to work on this day!)

The season is the last chance to drink and be merry before the start of Lent, and it is also to drive out the darkness of the winter.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Rosenmontag

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Rosenmontag is the last Monday before Lent. In the main areas where Karneval or Fasching is celebrated, there are parades on this day and many companies give their employees the day off.

There are different stories as to how the unusual name came about. One says that it developed from Rasenden Montag, because everything is so mad on that day. Another says that it is the day after Rosensonntag, the day on which the Pope used to give someone a golden rose.

Traditionally people eat Berliner on this day – a jam-filled doughnut.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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