carnival · dress up · Fasching · Punch and Judy

And Germany’s Silly Season Begins…..

One of the difficult things about living in a foreign country for an extended period of time is learning how to handle their customs. Many European countries celebrate carnival for the week in the run up to Ash Wednesday, dressing up and scaring off evil spirits. 

For the first seven years that I lived in Germany I simply ignored their carnival season. But since having children, I have had to get used to the fact that I have to get involved, if only for their sake. 

The first few years it was all a bit of a chore – face painting a toddler, dressing him up in fancy dress, dressing me up in fancy dress, bringing him to a parade and faking having a good time just isn’t my thing. 

The past four years though have found me looking forward to Fasching, the name used here for canival. I’ve found a role I am happy with – the role of amateur entertainment officer. 

Each of the past four years has seen me involved in the entertainment at kindergarten as part of their festivities. I’ve dressed up as a spider and as a traditional Bavarian lady, I’ve made hand puppets for the Punch and Judy show and I’ve even been a walking, talking sack of spuds.  

Added to that there has been the creating of costumes for the boys – one each for kindergarten / school, one each for wearing to the parade, one each for the sports club Fasching party. It takes a lot of planning. 

This year I outdid myself entirely and made a Gruffalo cake for today’s Gruffalo-themed dress up day at kindergarten. Tonight will see me decorating the sports hall for tomorrow’s Punch and Judy show and prompting my fellow entertainers if they forget their lines. 

By this time tomorrow I imagine I will be shattered and it will only be day 2 of the six day carnival. But for the sake of my little knight, my very own R2D2 and my little dinosaur, I’m happy to take on some extra work*.

*Extra work that involves a lot of things I love to do, baking, crafting, sewing and lots of excuses to get out of the house, meet up with other mammies and sometimes share a bottle of prosecco as we plan the festivities. 

And then the fun began...

14 thoughts on “And Germany’s Silly Season Begins…..

  1. It's really interesting to read about these completely unheard of customs of another European country! I guess mostly we just go around assuming that everyone does the same stuff (or maybe that's just me!). Kind of nice to find out about different traditions. Again I am in awe of your domestic goddess abilities! The cake is so good!! Thanks for linking to this week's #thetruthabout X

  2. It is not just you Samantha. When I moved here, I was astounded at the my lack of knowledge of the customs they have in Germany.
    The cake was a lot of fun to make and tasted good too. The kids loved it.

  3. If that's not your thing (it doesn't sound like it would be mine) then that's awful! Here in the US, we're coming up on Valentine's Day which is sort of a nightmare for parents of elementary school because they are all expected to hand-address a valentine for every single child in their class… speaking of which, I have to go make them do some more right now or they'll never finish by Friday…

  4. This sounds like so much fun! When my daughter's old enough I really want to do a year or something of celebrating different things from around the world because it's cultural and I just really like having something to celebrate. That cake looks totally awesome too. 😀 x #thetruthabout

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