this past week the rhineland area of germany, and other areas in europe, celebrated Karneval. in the area that we live in, the biggest days to celebrate are Weiberfastnacht (this year it was feb 12) and Rosenmontag (this year it was feb 16), as well as november 11th of the previous year (Karneval officially starts at 11:11 on 11.11, and ends with Ash Wednesday). i wish i had a way to explain Karneval and make total sense…but i don’t. i think that is because i am still trying to make sense of all of it myself.

rewind 3 years ago, the husband came to the US for a month, in february, and was saying how it was the first time in a very long time that he was missing Karneval. i had no idea what he was talking about, but sympathized with him because i could tell it was something that he usually enjoyed.

my first Karneval, 2 years ago, allowed me to witness what he was talking about with Karneval. but…i didn’t fall in love with it, i actually hated it quite a bit. it was early february, temperatures below freezing, and you are supposed to sit outside and watch a parade and get candy and drink a lot of alcohol. suffice it to say, i was not impressed.

last year, i tried to keep an open mind about the holiday. i tried to forget the bitter cold of the year before, and the weird thing of drinking alcohol before 5pm (it starts at like 11am…). and i think i did well, luckily that year Karneval was a little later (the date is dependent on Easter) so it was a bit more enjoyable.

this year we continued on the upward swing. the only part of Karneval i have yet to adopt is the costumes. i know in the US we have halloween and dress in all sorts of costumes, young and old alike, but i cannot wrap my head around adults wearing dinosaur costumes for Karneval…just haven’t gotten there yet.

hopefully next year i will get even more into the spirit and wear a real costume, not just my own clothes altered in small ways. i will watch the parade and gratefully accept any “kamella” (candy) that is thrown my way, and i will participate in the other weird traditions of the widely beloved Karneval time here in bonn. maybe i’ll even recommend we go to köln for the next one 😉

if you want to learn more about Karneval, follow the links below

wikipedia info

cologne info

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