Monday, February 20, 2012

Rosenmontag - Karneval

Today is "Rosenmontag" in Germany, the day of the big Karneval parades. The biggest and most famous are in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz, mostly in the Rhineland and also in the southwest. Not so much in Berlin. (Below is a map where they have parades, and what they are called - Fasching, Karneval, Fastnacht, usw.) I went in 2007, to Mainz, (post here) but that experience was enough for me. Germans are usually divided along a North/South divide about how they feel about Karneval. Some love it, the others can't understand it. (It's maybe comparable to how adults feel about Halloween. Some love the chance to go out, dress in costume and go crazy, others not so much.)  My favorite part about German Karneval: the political satire.
Facebook spinning its web around its victim, plus: did I ever mention German opinion of Obama?!

I just read an article about one of the artists who design the papier-maché floats. They are often very political and topical, and super-current (I'm sure people were working very hard in the last few days since the President resigned to make floats about this! See the Wulff floats below). I love this tradition, and I think it marks a big difference to our political culture. (But maybe I'm wrong? We have an awesome tradition of political satire, with The Daily Show etc, but it's not as mainstream.) The Karneval floats are crazy and vulgar, but in the context of Karneval it's all in good fun.  This one guy, Jacques Tilly, is famous for his floats. They are really critical, and he has been attacked by various politicians for his work. Notice how a big theme is always the US/Germany relation.

Merkel + Sarkozy = Markozy
2012, Merkel and the FDP, and leading the train with the European economy
2003, Merkel and Uncle Sam

1 comment:

  1. One of your more "extraordinary" postings - the pictures are beyond words!!