Fastenzeit

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:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Buy a Transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

Karnevalsumzug

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:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Buy a Transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

Karnevalssitzung

A Karnevalssitzung is the name given to an event that takes place during the Karneval season, usually in the evening.

It takes place in a large hall and is organised by a Karnevalsverein.  Although this could be anytime between 11th November and Shrove Tuesday, it is more likely to be in the last week of the season.

During the evening there are performances by dance troups, Büttenredner – a sort of comedian who comments on current, often poltical, events, and a lot of singing.  The guests sit at long tables to eat and drink.

Chairing the event are the Elferrat.  The word Elf, refers not only to the number eleven – the carnival number, but also to an abbreviation of the motto of the French Revolution: Egalité, Liberté, Fraternité.

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

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Buy a Transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

By continuing to use this website site, you agree to the use of cookies. [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details.

Close