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Archive for the 'Carnival' Category

Aschermittwoch

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Aschermittwoch is the German name for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  Although it is not a public holiday, most companies will allow their employees time off during the day to go to church, if they wish to.

At church, people are blessed with a cross on the forehead made from the ashes of last year’s palm leaves.

This is also the day on which the policital parties hold their regional meetings.  The use them to plan for the coming political year, and also to critise the policies of their opponents.

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

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Fastenzeit

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Fastenzeit is the name given to the time of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Easter.  During this time people avoid eating meat, although in some families this is extended to eating sweets and listening to music, or drinking alcohol.

In some areas of Germany, people are not supposed to laugh on Good Friday, or dance between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday.

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

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Karnevalsumzug

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

The Karnevalsumzug is a procession that takes place during the main week of the Karneval season.

Taking place in many German towns, these involve a number of floats from local clubs and societies that often represent current political issues.  Particularly long processions can be seen in towns such as Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz and Hamburg.

Many floats throw sweets towards the on-lookers, causing the children to scramble after them.  There are also bands that play Guggemusik – which sounds somthing like modern hits being played by a brass band with steel drums.

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

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