Carnival in Munich is both exciting and traditional. We here dream of tropical beaches and samba music (from the country I come from). I am aware that many of you have probably been a part of some interesting carnival, at least as a visitor.
The majority of countries in Europe have carnivals.
So, the Germans too.
It is kind of representing a few relaxing days filled with entertainment and excitement. The one in Munich is not the exception.
Every year there is a maintaining of the carnival here in Munich. A lot of tourists love to see it as it is really special, to me at least.
Dancing, drinking, eating, smiling all over the place. A great atmosphere is always inevitable.
I had the privilege to be visiting it on multiple occasions.
The names of Carnivals in Germany
Many carnivals and festivals are well known all across the world. Such as the famous ‘Oktoberfest’, ‘Rio de Janeiro Carnival’ or ‘Tomorrowland’ (a music festival).
A variety of customs and traditions are associated with Carnival celebrations in the German-speaking countries. Of course, I mean Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.
They can vary considerably from country to country, but also from one small region to another.
Traditions around Carnival in Munich
This is reflected in the various names given to these festivities occurring before Lent.
The carnival season has many different names in my country. For example, in Düsseldorf, it is called ‘Karneval’ so as in Cologne, in Mainz it is ‘Fasenacht’. In Munich, it is named ‘Fasching’.
In other regions, it is called ‘Fastnacht’, ‘Fasnet’ or ‘Fosnat’.
About the Carnival
Originally this carnival was a pagan festival. But later it has become associated with the catholic church and was celebrated on the day before the beginning of Lent.
During these days, a carnival begins officially on the 11th of November, usually at 11:11 am.
Often it starts with the crowning of a carnival prince and a princess and lasts about three months. It lasts until ‘Ash Wednesday’ of the following year seven weeks before Easter.
The most ‘Fasching’ events are held in the last four weeks.
Although the festivities and parties start as early as the beginning of January, the actual carnival week starts on the ‘Fat Thursday’ before ‘Ash Wednesday’.
The big German carnival parades are held on the weekend before and especially on ‘Rosenmontag’, the day before ‘Shrove Tuesday’. Sometimes it is held on ‘Shrove Tuesday’ itself in the suburbs of larger carnivals cities.
Tour guide through the Carnival
As I have been a part of the carnival a few times, I will try to guide you through it so you could better understand what it can provide.
For your first impression, I recommend you to visit one of the big traditional balls in the ‘Deutsches Theater’. The first costume ball in the ‘Deutsches Theater’ was organized already in 1897 or in the Hotel ‘Bayerischer Hof’.
The third traditional location ‘Lowenbraukeller’ was not available on one occasion due to renovation work. Only the festival room was open then.
In this festival room takes place the ‘Ball der damischen Ritter’. It is some kind of representing Bavaria in the middle ages. Here you will be able to see a lot of funny people dressed in knight’s armors.
Another thing that you should see is definitely the ‘Weissen Feste’ in the ‘Max – Emanuel – Brauerei’. It is absolutely legendary.
These Fasching parties, which were originally parties of the Schwabing artists, are already held for over a half-century.
There is a rule that all the visitors have to come in white costumes. In the light of the special neon tubes (so-called bull’s eyes light), it looks quite eerie. That is something you should not miss.
The best of Carnival
This carnivals best is offering in the last three days of it. With the city letting loose on Sunday, Monday and ending the festivities on already mentioned ‘Shrove Tuesday’.
I am assured that the most exciting parts of the carnival are displayed during these three days.
On Sunday, the celebrations often take place around ‘Marienplatz’. With large street parties, parades and crowds dressed head – to – toe in wild and wonderful costumes, a top atmosphere is guaranteed.
What will put you right in the thick of the day – to – night parties is staying central and close to this part of Munich.
On the last day of the carnival, on ‘Shrove Tuesday’, it reaches its climax at ‘Viktualienmarkt’ known as the ‘Dance of the good women of the market’.
The official opening of this event is performed by the Prince and Princess of ‘Narhalla’. So, it is one attraction not to be missed!
This lively event features women in traditional dress dancing and singing in the traditional market square.
With every new year, it attracts more and more crowds of spectators. I think that you will be enjoying the carnival and this event atmosphere in the city.
I can assure you that all these unforgettable and colorful celebrations will bring a new meaning to the word ‘party’ at your vocabulary.
For the elation of the surrounding crowds, this is the best possible event that’s for sure.
For all lovers of dancing and events with balls flowing around the air, there is an event at this carnival too.
Every time it is holding an event like this.
During one of my visits, more than 800 balls were held throughout Munich. The largest of these hosted over a thousand people and most of them were a fancy dress, with masquerade themes.
However, classic gala balls dinner jackets and dress also took hold of the city during this time, known as ‘Schwarz – Weiss – Balle’.
In parallel with the carnival and masked balls, there were also over a thousand events and dances that took place in Munich.
Some of them even last several weeks and are often organized by major theatres and breweries in the city.
Carnival Guide for Gay bars
Dozens of bars and restaurants in Munich are open. So, does the gay ones.
As you could probably be expecting, homosexual activity is also often a part of the Munich carnival.
I had an article published already about LGBT behavior in this city and its treatment by the others. So, I will not repeat myself about it.
Often is the case of being misunderstood and falsely judged. During this carnival activity, the case is pretty much similar.
Sometimes, members of homosexual life are free like a bird in the sky. To speak, walk and make their own opinions and involve in the crowd during the carnival events.
But unfortunately, it was often the case in the past few occasions that there were attacks recorded against the homosexuals.
They were being insulted, both physically and psychologically.
If you go to this carnival you should know to drink wisely and not get over the line about your behavior and manners. Many attempts have happened because of alcoholic drinks influence.
As it can change some people’s behavior, it is not anything bad if you are careful with the glass.
Homosexuals had to suffer because of the people who cannot restrain themselves. Often because of the alcohol.
Nevertheless, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Always.
There are some gay bars that are very well secured so if you are a homosexual you should not be worried about your security. Even during this carnival.
I just hope that these incidents will be decreasing every next year.
Security comes first
For homosexual people, at this kind of festivities safety always comes first. I know it.
There is always an embedded fear of being attacked by an unknown person, often when you don’t expect it at all.
Because this thing is not really acceptable in my country yet.
So, as a person who is attracted by the same gender, you will certainly try to find the safest possible bar to visit during this carnival.
And you are absolutely not wrong.
Simply people need security and assurance that their privacy will be untouched. I completely have an understanding of that.
Gay bars often provide some bodyguards employed that will guarantee your safety. As may be a possible unwanted group, that is the main thing they can require.
I can freely say there is a lot of different gay bars where you will find only positive things. Nice fellowship, mutual understanding of a good atmosphere are all to be found in here indeed.
All that will bring a peaceful and relaxed attitude and state of mind during your time at the carnival.
You are not going to need an expensive costume. Luxurious costumes are the exception here in Munich’s carnival.
All you need is a good mood and you will have a lot of fun during the carnival season. So, put away your thoughts about your safety and spend some quality time on one of the best carnivals in Germany.