Fancy costumes, carnival songs and dances brighten up the dark days
Some years Valentine’s Day and the biggest day of Germany’s Karneval fall on the same day. German kids don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but they do celebrate Karneval (carnival). This short clip shows a surprise visit from the Carnival royalty at a neighborhood pub. Celebrations like these inspired the cross-cultural books for kids in the Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tale series. Rose Monday in Germany is typically the day of the big parade.
When it’s raining for days and the forest paths are muddy, it’s time for the professionals to come in and cheer everyone up. Some cultures have professional mourners. The Rhineland area of Germany takes cheerfulness seriously.
The gentleman wearing the extremely long feathers in his hat is Carnival royalty. The whole crowd of red and white costumed people are called the Carnival Society (Karneval Gesellschaft) and their responsibility is to visit all the local pubs over the course of Carnival and cheer everyone up.
This all happens before Rose Monday, which is the day of the big parade. We once watched part of the Cologne parade from the train, back when they still had horses pulling the carriages.
Two Holidays At A Time Are Double Trouble . . . Or Double Delicious?
All of this gorgeous frivolity inspired a big scene in my children’s book Trouble at the Valentine Factory.
I’m from the US, so in Elementary School, I spent every Valentine’s Day making Valentines for everyone in my class. And decorating my Valentine mailbox made from a shoebox.
In Germany, schools don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, they celebrate Karneval.
Since Karneval is a moveable feast, there are some years when Rose Monday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day.
And if a feast is moveable, wouldn’t a parade of barges be an even better way to celebrate?
That’s what happens the year the troublesome Queen Ash doesn’t get selected for the Carnival Royalty. She decides to introduce a new holiday–Valentine’s Day–and make herself beloved.
If necessary, by force.
That’s where the cupids come in . . .