Tag Archives: Krapfen

Karneval – Carnival – Fasching in CA

carnival berlin

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!


Credits: Pixabay.com



Faschingskrapfen, A Tasty Carnival’s Pastry


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!


Serves: 16


  • 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)


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.


An alternative Krapfen  recipe can be found here.


Photo: Austrian magazine “Woman”


Fasching, Fastnacht, Carnival – Helau!


Are you ready for the last days of Fasching? Yes, the Carnival or ‘närrische Zeit’ of the year as some name it is coming to an end. The last week of Fasching, the actual ‘Fastnachtswoche’,  is starting this Thursday with the Weiberfastnacht culminating in Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) and  Faschings-Dienstag (also called Veilchendienstag) before Ash Wednesday calls an end to the time of costume balls and masquerade parades and fun.

HISTORICAL Roots of Fasching

Even though some of the carnival’s roots go back to the Romans and their festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia, the tradition of the Fasching and Carnival as we know it now started in the medieval times. Originally tied to the Liturgical Year Church Calendar Fasching or Carnival started officially on January 6th , Epiphany or ‘Dreikönigsfest’, and ended on Ash Wednesday ringing in the 40 days of Lent, during which time no rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar and alcohol were allowed.

In 1823 a special Carnivals committee in Cologne decided to have carnival begin on the 11. of November the same day as St. Martin’s Day but at the exact time of 11:11am. This seemed to create the perfect “Carnival date” of the 11.11 of any year at 11:11am.  In Cologne carnival is part of the city’s history and this date marked the day of the official initiation of the Faschings Prince and Princess and the starting of costume balls and masquerade parties.

Carnival or Fasching – “Say Good-Bye to Meat & Alcohol”

The word Carnival evolved most likely  from the Latin words carne and vale which means something like “say good-bye to meat”, announcing the time of fasting that would follow the excessive partying.

Fasching , Fastnacht or Fasnacht (Switzerland) refers to the long night before the fasting starts . In fact the ‘long night’ means actually the six days from Thursday (Weiberfastnacht) to Faschingsdienstag (Tuesday before ash Wednesday). The word is thought to come from fasting and night but folk etymological roots point also to the word “Fastenschank”, which means the last (alcoholic) drink before the fasting.

The term Fasching is mostly used in Bavaria and Austria.

Carnival and Fasching Traditions

How Carnival is celebrated varies from region to region within Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and of course it takes on quite a different color and flavor if we go outside the German speaking countries. Think of the celebrations in other countries, like the Carnival in Venice or the one in Rio, Brazil!

Parades and costume balls are custom all over Germany during carnival season with the biggest and most famous ones in Cologne, Mainz and Düsseldorf happening on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday). During this time scathing political and social commentary, fantastic costumes and normal citizens in the role of kings and princes, knights and generals are part of the fun while the rich and pretentious in society are ridiculed by “fools” and Court jesters.

An institution for every serious Carnival Club is having an official “Faschings Prinzenpaar”, the Carnival’s designated Prince and Princess, who are getting elected for the Faschings season on November 11th and will guide the crowd of “Faschings fools” (das Narrenvolk) through all festivities.

Faschings KrapfenThe two most used traditional salutations in Germany during Carnival are “Helau” and “Alaaf”.  And what is the most famous Faschings food?

The “Faschings” Krapfen!      This delicacy resembles a doughnut, but definitely is not one, and it is absolutely essential to have them for every Faschings party!

Many regions have their very own special Fasching traditions. In Munich for example everyone looks forward to the Tanz der Marktweiber at the Viktualienmarkt (dance of the merchant women of the Viktualienmarkt) on Schäfflertanz in MünchenFaschingsdienstag (Tuesday),  the Schäfflertanz and the traditional Weisswurstessen (Bavarian White sausage feast) on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday). On that day every guest in the inner city is invited by the local restaurants to indulge on a Weisswurst for Euro 1 each. But only from 9am to 12noon, since a Weisswurst needs to have been eaten before the midday’s bell ringing!

weisswurstOh, and did you know…?  The Weisswurst ‘was born’ in Munich on Rosenmontag during Fasching in 1857!

Plan your own Faschings Party

Outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland it’s sometimes hard to find traditional German foods. We are always on the search, and so far GermanDeli’s online store has never disappointed us and stays our favorite. Their “Brezen” are delicious and, if you are looking for Faschings-Krapfen to highlight your own Faschingsparty, you can find them at their online store too!

To top it all of, you can even host a traditional Weisswurstessen! We found Weisswürste, the typical sweet Mustard that goes with it, Brezen and Weissbier all at GermanDeli.com. Just make sure your “Weisswurst” is all eaten before the bell rings in noon!

So, here is to you!

Helau and Alaaf! Have a fun Carnival Week!

DATES for 2013:
Weiberfastnacht: Feb. 7, 2013
Rosenmontag: Feb. 11, 2013
Faschingsdienstag: Feb. 12, 2013
Aschermittwoch: Feb. 13, 2013
Wikipedia Germany
TK Logo Wissenschaftsmagazin