We celebrate Karneval (Mardi Gras) in El Cajon every year with a number of events and would like to invite you to witness the traditional German customs, see the colorful costumes, and join us for an evening of dancing, song, 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.
Karneval season begins on November 11th of each year and is over on Ash Wednesday.
The German-American Societies of San Diego is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Nonprofit Corporation Law of California for charitable purposes. Specifically, the purpose of the club shall include preservation of German heritage through educational, cultural and service activities ultimately furthering the understanding of German-American contributions to the growth of American history.