Crazy carnival days in München

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Each year in Munich, the month of February and March bring a whirlwind of music, costumes and dances, in the guise of the Munich Carnival. The city of Munich certainly knows how to party. This year the festival lasts three days, and the city lets loose, on Sunday, Monday and finally Shrove Tuesday. It’s a fun event for all, with parades and masked balls organized by various professional organizations. In parallel with the carnival there are actually over 1,000 events and dances that take place, lasting several weeks, organized by major theatres and breweries in Munich. On the last Sunday, the festivities take place around Marienplatz. On the Tuesday, it’s time for the apotheosis on the Viktualien market with the Dirndl, the “Dance of the good women of the market.” A fantastic event when women in traditional dress dance and sing their hearts out together with the public. For this alone, it’s worth seeing!

The carnival season has different names in Germany: in Cologne and Düsseldorf “Carnival”, in Mainz “Fasenacht”, in other regions “Fasnet” or “Fosnat”. The carnival season in and around Munich is named “Fasching”.

Carnival was originally a pagan festival, later it has become associated with the catholic church and was celebrated on the day before the beginning of Lent. Nowadays the carnival season begins officially on November 11 with the coronation of a carnival prince and a carnival princess and lasts about three months until Ash Wednesday seven weeks before Easter. The most Fasching events are held in the last four weeks.

The Fasching main season is this year from February 1 to March 5. During this time more than 800 balls will be held in Munich. The biggest ones are parties with thousands of people. Most of these are fancy dress balls, but there are also classical gala balls in dinner jacket and evening dress (“Schwarz-Weiss-Bälle”).

To get a first impression we recommend to visit one of the big traditional balls in the “Deutsches Theater” (the first costume ball in the “Deutsches Theater” was organized already in 1897), or in the Hotel “Bayerischer Hof”. The third traditional location “Löwenbräukeller” is not available this year due to renovation work. Only the festival room is open.

In this festival room of the Löwenbräukeller takes place on March 1 the “Ball der damischen Ritter” (Ball of the crazy knights). It is a persiflage of Bavaria in the middle ages. You will see a lot of funny people dressed in knights’ armours.

The “Weissen Feste” (white parties) in the “Max-Emanuel-Brauerei” are legendary. These Fasching parties, which were originally parties of the Schwabing artists, are held already for over 50 years. The visitors have to come in white costumes. In the light of the special neon tubes (so-called bull’s-eye light) it looks quite eerie.

The “Crazy Knights” will organize a small carnival parade starting from Sonnenstrasse and ending at Hofbräuhaus, but it is not comparably with the big and magnificent carnival processions in Cologne and Mainz.

“München Narrisch”: During the last three crazy days (on Fasching Sunday, on Rose Monday and on Shrove Tuesday – this year March 3, 4 and 5) the pedestrian area in the city center around Marien platz is turned into a gigantic open air party zone with live music, fancy dresses and dancing.

One of the highlights of the Munich Fasching is the dance of the market women on the “Viktualien markt” (Victuals Market) at 10:30 a.m. on Shrove Tuesday. The market women rehearse for it already months before.
So, now try out the Munich Fasching. You need no expensive costume. Luxurious costumes are the exception here. All you need is a good mood and you will have a lot of fun during the carnival season in Munich.Tanz-der-Marktfrauen-auf-dem-Viktualienmarkt


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