History of Karneval

One of the important German traditions celebrated by  German clubs in Amerika  is our celebration of the Karneval Season.

Karneval1Many people in the United States are familiar with Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but few are aware that in Europe, Karneval and Mardi Gras have been celebrated for centuries. The Grecians celebrated Mardi Gras in the form of Spring festivals as early as the 6th century B.C. In medieval times the “Feast of Fools” was celebrated as the last opportunity for merrymaking and excessive indulgence in food and drink before the Solemn Lenten Season. In some areas of Europe the Mardi Gras became a theatrical demonstration that denoted the common people’s satire on the monarchy and its oppressive government. It was an effective way of mocking the government without being punished. Thus the humorous jabs at the drudgery of everyday life; the ‘sinister’ prime minister (our Elferrat) representing the royal cabinet; the fun loving Garde; the Policeman (Schutzmann), and the Master of Ceremonies all mimicking the royalty of medieval times, who lived in grandeur at the people’s expense.

Since the Karneval originated as a mocking of Royalty, of course we must have our own Royal Couple or “Prinzenpaar” ruling over our Mardi Gras ‘government.’ With them comes their royal court of “Hofstaat.” The Prinz (Seine Tollität) and Prinzessin (Ihre Lieblichkeit) are crowned at the start of the season in November and rule until Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Their Court consists of the “Hofmarshall” (Prinz’s Grand Marshall), the “Adjutant” (Prinzessin’s Attendant), the “Hofdame” (Maid of the court), and the “Mundschenkin” (Toastmistress  and keeper of the wine!).

Each government has ordinances. In the ‘Karneval’ government, the number eleven plays a key role in the Mardi Gras ordinances. The first “official” day of Karneval is on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. All gatheringPrinzenpaarSDnewforFront1s and proclamations are supposed to begin at the eleventh hour in the eleventh minute. There are eleven ministers in the cabinet (Elferrat). Some of their honorable titles include Minister for the Lonesone Ladies, Minister for the Inebriated, Minister for the Feinschmecker, and so on….

German Karneval Season

We celebrate the “5th Season” in the German tradition each year from 11 November to Ash Wednesday. In Rio it’s called Carneval, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Fasching in southern Germany and Karneval on the Rhine, all you need is a love for life and a willingness to let loose, have fun and frolic. These are the things that characterize this extended party, whatever it’s called and wherever it’s celebrated.


Karnevalgekarneval6sellschaft (Karneval or Mardi Gras)
While Karneval events are largely aimed at adults (letting them act as kids), we also have a children’s Karneval group.


Alaaf and Helau!

Kinderkarneval (Kindertanzgruppe)

When the G.A.S. Karneval group is getting ready for a new Season, the group meets every Thursday at 7:45 pm to prepare for coming events as well as exchange information.

Major events planned for the forthcoming season are listed in the table below.

Karneval Events


TBD          Crowning of the new PrinzenpaarKarneval

Nov 11       Opening of Karneval


Jan 5-7                                                Las Vegas/GAMGA

Jan 27    Port call in San Diego / G.A.S.S.D. Clubhouse

Jan 28             Kinder Afternoon/G.A.S.S.D. Clubhouse

TBD                   “Ash Thursday?”/G.A.S.S.D. Clubhouse

Feb 17      Abschluss/Farewell to Karneval / G.A.S.S.D. Clubhouse