12.2.18

ROSENMONTAG.

As Karneval comes to a close, the festivities get more transgressive.


Düsseldorf.  Unattributed image retrieved from The Local Germany.

Roses Monday is not the Rose Parade.  Float designers take afflicting the comfortable seriously.
Carnival is the celebration of the “Narr” (jester or fool), whose purpose it was in the olden days, at the courts of the kings and nobility, to tell the truth, and most importantly without being punished. That’s why politics has a significant role in Carnival. And of course Carnival in the Rhineland, especially, has always been very political as it developed in its current form during the time of the French and Prussian occupations.
Thus, all through the Rhineland, including Düsseldorf, the point is to be over the top.  "It’s that time again - when the usual rules of polite society are thrown out the window."  To the south -- Swabia, parts of Bavaria, and Austria, there are revelries, with a different tone.  "Down in the Swabian region in southern Germany, as well as in parts of Switzerland and western Austria, a more serious tradition called Fastnacht, which distinguishes itself from the Rhenish carnival also bursts out in February."  The festivities evolved differently, but share common origins in Roman and German rites of spring (which, yes, might have been anticipated by groundhogs seeing their shadows) modified as a way to make merry before the penitence of Lent arrives.

Cold Spring Shops headquarters have received all of February and March's rations of snow in the past ten days.  But there are paczki in the larder.  "If you don't eat at least one paczek, you will be unlucky all year long."  I'm taking no chances.

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