Karneval has been over for a few weeks now, but the decorations are still hanging all over Little T’s room.

Personally, I just can’t get into the whole Karneval festivities (if you don’t know what Karneval is, think Mardi Gras or visit this link to read more:  http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa020501a.htm

A friend of mine asked if Hubby & I wanted to attend the local Karneval Ball.

“Do I have to wear a costume?” I asked.

“Yes of course!” she replied.

“Oh, no thank you” I politely responded.

You see, I have this thing about wearing a costume.  Frankly, I just don’t enjoy dressing up.  Likely because I am extremely uncreative and shy with that sort of thing.  Even as young girl, I didn’t look forward to Halloween for the thrill of choosing what to wear – it was the pillow case of candy that got me out on the streets.  As far as costumes go, I can only remembering being either a bride with a really bad wig or a clown.

I started to wonder if Little T was on a similar path.  When he was 2 years old, he refused to wear a costume to the daycare Halloween party, and was unfazed that he was the only one not in character.  At age 3 he was Spiderman, but refused to wear the mask.  Age 4 he was a Pirate, and for some reason elected to be one yet again this year.

But this past year I noticed he had a lot more passion about the whole dressing up thing, and really got into the Karneval madness.  Our windows and doors were decorated with hand-made masks, paper balloons and streamers.  He counted down the number of sleeps until the Big Karneval Party at Kindergarten.

For kids in this part of Germany, Karneval is the big event to wear costumes (Karneval is only celebrated in certain parts of Germany).  Halloween has slowly caught on but the schools don’t celebrate it.

The day of the big party arrived.  Little T was out of bed like the Roadrunner, and in full Pirate attire by 7am.  At the Kindergarten, we were greeted with streamers and balloons hanging everywhere from the ceilings, confetti scattered all over the floor, Pirates, Princesses, Knights, Angels and a few dozen Spidermen.  Music was playing, the kids were dancing, and the table was filled with Dickmanns (This is a marshmallow-covered- in- chocolate treat adored by folks of all ages in this country.  For further information on Dickmanns and Super Dickmanns, visit their website at http://www.dickmanns.de  That’s all I’m going to say about Dickmanns).

Little T was actually allowed to take his hard foam sword to the party – apparently toy guns were also permitted.  Envisioning a bunch of 3, 4 and 5 year old boys running around the room waving swords and pointing guns at each other made me grateful for not choosing a career path of a Kindergarten teacher.  At the same time, I must add, that these people deserve to make a six digit figure for what they do, and it is pathetic that their pay is so low.

Into the room Little T ran.  Normally, he holds my hand and walks shyly into the room.  Today, I was invisible.  I stood for a few minutes watching him join his buddies, wiggle his little toosh to the music and wearing the biggest smile.  As I looked around the room at all the smiling faces, teachers included, I suddenly felt envious.  These kids were having the time of their life!

As I walked home, I thought how wonderful it is to have such a lively celebration in the middle of February.  Not only a nice pick-me-up during the darker days of winter, but more importantly, a reminder that sometimes you just need to have a little fun.

So next year, I may just push my dressing up anxieties aside and force my body into costume and join in.

I wonder if my clown suit still fits.

2 thoughts on “Karneval

  1. I loved Karneval/Fasnacht in Germany…and I love Dickmanns..I recently picked up a box at Vincenzo’s …brought back some memories…


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