With members from all areas around San Diego County and beyond, our club offers a home for numerous Germanic traditions to our many members, friends and the community. One example of this is our celebration of Karneval (German Mardi Gras) every year with a number of events. You are invited to partake in this traditional German festivity and join us for a season song, dancing, laughter and lighthearted merriment.
Karneval (or Mardi Gras) began in Rome and spread to other European countries. Our German variation of the tradition dates back to medieval times. People lived under harsh rulers in the Rhineland. The many kings, princes and even smaller potentates each maintained their own courts, competing with each other in pretentious pomp and splendor at the expense of their populations.
During “Karneval Season” the common people chose a mock government represented by the Elferrat and selected a Prinz and Prinzessin to “rule” the country. Current political issues and personalities becomes the subject of satire and ridicule.
That tradition holds true today and German politicians as well as world figures are all fair game! Parades, dancing in the streets, costume themed balls and comic skits fill the days and nights. Cities throughout Germany have their Council (Elferrat), royalty (Prinzenpaar), a full court and the prince’s guard (Prinzengarde). These traditions form the basis for our Karneval group here at the German-American Societies.
While preparations begin many months in advance, our Karneval season officially begins on November 11th of each year and comes to and end on Ash Wednesday.