Tag Archives: Carnival

Helau and Alaaf – Carnival Tradition in Germany

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HELAU AND ALAAF – CARNIVAL TRADITION IN GERMANY

This upcoming Thursday, certain cities in Germany, including my hometown Dusseldorf, are going to be crowded with thousands of people – adults as well as children – dressed up in costumes. Welcome to the yearly tradition of Carnival.  For those of you who have never heard of this festivity before, I would describe it as a mixture of Halloween (minus the scary costumes) plus Mardi Gras.

Due to the fact that I grew up in a so-called Carnival central city, I basically was born into the tradition.  Today I can gladly say that I don’t miss it one bit, but back when I was living in Europe I did feel obligated to participate.  So what does Carnival consist of?

This time of the year, which is also named the 5th season, actually starts in November on 11-11 at 11:11 a.m., but the peak of the tradition happens around late February/ beginning of March on a Thursday.  That day called “Altweiber” (old women), it is common at work for women to cut off the men’s ties with scissors and then celebrate on the streets and at bars till late at night.

The highlight of the Carnival celebration is held on Monday with the Rose Monday parades, which are very popular in the cities of Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Mainz.  The 5th season usually ends that following Wednesday, called Ash Wednesday.

To sum it up, Carnival is one of the biggest events celebrated in Germany with parades, costume balls, and street parties.  There are two popular cries that you would be hearing a lot during this time: Helau in Dusseldorf and Mainz, and Alaaf in Cologne, Bonn, and Aachen.

I personally enjoyed this celebration more when I was a little kid in kindergarten and elementary school.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like to dress up.  My favorite costume of all time used to be a cat.  Cats were my favorite animal back then, so luckily for my parents they could recycle my costume every year and didn’t have to get a new one.

Being an adult, I never found it too appealing to put on a costume and get drunk on the streets, even though I participated a couple times.

What changed my perception a little bit was when I actually joined a show dance group that performed during masquerade balls.  I received this opportunity when I was living with my sister in a very small town in the mountains.

A friend of a friend happened to be one of the dancers, and since I loved dancing and had been doing it throughout my entire life, I saw the chance to become part of the group through that connection since they were in need of an additional performer.

For two years I was a member of this group.  And what can I say, I loved it.  I loved rehearsing for the show, performing on stage, and participating in tournaments.  But I still wasn’t too fond about everything else that included Carnival.

Once it was clear that I would be moving to the United Stands, I obviously had to end my time with this group.  It was a fun two years, but I am not missing it much nowadays.  But for everyone else who is a great fan of Carnival, have fun out there these next couple of days!

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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Karneval – Carnival – Fasching in CA

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How about ‘Karneval’ time in California?

I am not sure about other expats, but since I have moved over here to California, Fasching has moved far away from me. Not that I suddenly became a ‘Faschingsmuffel’ (carnival grouch). No, but no one out here in California celebrates Fasching the way I remember it from Germany.

You can participate in Mardi Gras celebrations in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but that’s not our German Fasching! Some Italian restaurant recently has taking advantage of this ‘fourth season’, as some call the carnival time in Germany, to push their new menu. But other than a special menu, no Venetian masquerade was offered with it. So, I wonder what food they might promote. A dressed up Pizza perhaps?

Anyway, Fasching is a wonderful tradition in Germany, but really nobody celebrates it here in California the way we are used to, UNLESS you have children or have a lot of German friends, who throw a ‘Karneval’ party.

Luckily some German schools out here try to keep our children in the loop and teach them some German traditions. They put on a fun ‘Faschings Fete’ and teach our children what Fasching is all about. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they even have some delicious Krapfen or Berliner, the official Carnival’s food…and, the real reason I love Fasching!

So, pack up your children  and let them experience some German Fasching out here in CA!

Following are some festivities we could locate. If you hear of some other Faschings parties. Please let us know!

12. February 2017Kinderkarneval at Phoenix club. A fun filled event for children of all ages at 1:10pm . More information: http://www.thephoenixclub.com/?upcoming-event=kinderkarneval

25. February 2017German School Campus in Newport Beach celebrates from 4pm-6pm at the Youth Center Newport Sea Base, 1931 West Coast Why, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Please make a reservation:
                                                                                            Age group: 7 to 18                                                                                                 
GERMAN SCHOOL campus: (949) – 229 – 7389
Email: mail@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com
Age group: 4 to 6
Ute’s KinderSchule: (949) – 786 – 3877
Email: UtesKinderSchule@gmail.com
For more information: http://germanschoolcampus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/karneval-flyer-2017.pdf

25 February 2017 The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV)’s East Bay campus invites people of all ages to explore not only a new school location in Emeryville but also celebrate the beloved Karneval tradition with them!
Start out with an Open House at 11 am, then join in the German Family Karneval in the Bay Area at 1pm.
1070 41st Street, Emeryville
11 am – 1 pm: Open House
1 – 5 pm: Karneval
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/GISSV-Family-Karneval-313153975557456/?pnref=story

25 February 2017 – GASA German American School Association’s    will have GASA Board member Susan Navarro and her husband act as this year’s Prinzenpaar of the Anaheim Karnevalsgesellschaft. Please join them at the Prunksitzung in the Pavilion at the Phoenix Club, featuring German satire, comedy, music & dancing, performances by the Prinzengarde, skits, laughter and fun. Saturday evening, at 7 pm, at the Phonenix Club in Anaheim.                    Address: 1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806. Admisssion is free.

…and what concerns those delicious Krapfen? We got word that Old World Huntington Beach has fresh ones daily, and Esther’s German Bakery in Los Altos serves them as well!

Helau!


Credits: Pixabay.com

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Carnival Party at GermanSchoolCampus in Newport Beach

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It’s Faschingzeit! At least in Germany the ‘Narrenzeit’ (Time of the Fools) has already started quite a while ago, on November 11 at 11:11 am to be precise. But German Karneval peaks especially in the week before Ash Wednesday and on “Rosenmontag” (Rose Monday) and “Faschingsdienstag” (Shrove Tuesday) one can witness crazy parades especially around the Rhineland but also in other cities throughout Germany.

To get a glimpse into German Karneval festivities GermanSchoolCampus is inviting to a Karneval Party for children at their school in Newport Beach, CA, on February 6th from 4pm-6pm. Children are encouraged to come in costumes. Get ready for a fun afternoon of dances like “Macarena, Fliegerlied , 99 Luftballons“, games and dances with balloons, can toss and of course, musical chairs.

Have fun and enjoy a traditional “Berliner” at the party! The “Berliner”, official Karneval’s food, is a kind of donut usually with an apricot jam filling in the middle. The “Berliner” known also as “Krapfen” in the South of Germany go also for “Puffel” in the area around Aachen. Either way they are a delicious treat to sweeten up the Faschings festivities and an absolute ‘must’ for all Karneval Pros!

WHAT: Karneval Party by GermanSchoolCampus & Ute’s KinderSchule

WHERE: GermanSchoolCampus at Youth Center Newport Sea Base at          1931 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663

WHEN: Saturday, February 6th, 2016 – 4pm-6pm

Please RSVP, so that a “Berliner” will be waiting for you!                           GERMAN SCHOOL campus: (949) – 229 – 7389 – Email: principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com

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Faschingskrapfen, A Tasty Carnival’s Pastry

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It’s Carnival time and one sweet pastry that mustn’t be missing during this particular time is the ” Faschingskrapfen” !

Freshly made Krapfen, a delicacy to die for! That’s what I thought when I was little, and to this day I am keeping my eyes out for them on every visit to Germany, no matter if it’s “Faschings”-time or summertime.

Although considered a carnival specialty, you can find the light and fluffy Krapfen in German/Austrian bakeries most anytime . The only problem I am having with then in Germany these days is that finding the (in my eyes original ) Krapfen filled with apricot jam  is often a challenge! (Raspberry jam just doesn’t work for me.)  Needless to say, it’s even harder to find a decent Krapfen here in California unless you venture off to certain German stores, but even then you might not find what you are looking for.

Therefore, for all our CaliforniaGermans craving some Krapfen, here is a delectable Austrian recipe , the “Sacher-Faschingskrapfen” !

Should you give the recipe a try, let us know how it turned out: Send us some pictures of your Krapfen experiment!

Sacher-Faschingskrapfen

Serves: 16

Ingredients:

  • 330 g flour (fine)
  • 80 ml milk
  • 30 g yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 1/2 pkt vanilla sugar
  • 1 lemon (rind)
  • 2 cl rum
  • 80 g butter
  • apricot jam (with a little rum for the filling)
  • flour (for the work surface)
  • vegetable oil (peanut oil, preferred)
  • icing sugar (for dusting)

Preparation:

Warm up about 2 tablespoons of milk to drinking temperature and dissolve the yeast in it. Stir in a little flour to create a thick-pasted pre-dough. Sprinkle with flour, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place (28–30 °C) for about 15 minutes, until the surface begins to show small cracks.

Use the rest of the milk and stir together the egg, egg yolks, salt, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, grated lemon rind and rum. Add the melted butter and beat. Using a blender with a kneading hook, blend the mass with the remaining flour and the yeast dough until smooth.

Cover with a cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour. Knead the dough again and on a floured surface shape into a roll. Cut nut-size pieces about 20 g in weight and, using the palm of your hand, shape into round balls. Dust with flour and press them a little with a baking tray. Place on a baking tray and leave to rise in a warm place.

Heat some oil (160 °C) in a pan for deep-frying or in a saucepan and fry a golden brown on both sides. Scoop out and place on a cake grid to drain. Fill a pastry bag with the rum-jam mix and squeeze into the doughnuts. Dust with icing sugar.

ENJOY!

An alternative Krapfen  recipe can be found here.

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Sourcewww.Wien.info
Photo: Austrian magazine “Woman”

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November 11 – Veterans Day, St. Martin’s Day, and start of the Carnival Season

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While Americans honor all people who have served in the military on Veterans Day , November 11th, German speaking countries celebrate two different occasions on that particular day.

watermark_F386501jpg_img_308x0November 11th is Saint Martin‘s day which is being celebrated with lantern parades, St. Martin’s songs, special bon fires “Martinsfeuer”, and special baked goods like the “Weckmänner” . Children in particular are looking forward to this day since they get to walk their often hand-made lanterns in a parade together with children of the neighborhood while singing St. Martins songs like “Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne…” Most importantly this festivity indicates that the beloved, festive Christmas season is just around the corner!

November 11th at 11am, indicates also the official date for the Carnival Season in 1012728_10152015135556013_813508148_nGermany to begin.  While you won’t see any carnival celebrations yet, the preparations for the season to come are now fully underway, like choosing the “Faschings-Prinzenpaar” , the Carnival royalties .

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Photo Courtesy: The Local.de,  lecker.de