What is Karneval?
Mardi Gras the German Way
German Karneval may not sound all that different from the Carnival or Mardi Gras you’re familiar with in New Orleans or down in Brazil, but it really is another beast reckoning to be partied with. Karneval in Germany dates back to the 16th century and is one of the oldest German customs. Centurys older than Oktoberfest, and to most American’s surprise, much more popular. It is now custom for the new Prinz to be crowned in November, but the real party doesn’t traditionally begin until after Christmas and doesn’t stop until Ash Wednesday. In its early origins, Karneval opened the doors for the “common folk” to mock local politicians, often by walking the streets wearing caricature customs of the leader, all without fear of punishment. Today, many German’s carry on this very tradition with grand spectacles and parades that draw out millions of locals and vistors to the streets.