Students in costumes parade and receive sweet treats

Holmdel, NJ – Call it Fasching, Karneval, Fasnacht or Mardi Gras, children and adults in parts of Germany, Switzerland and Austria put on their costumes, line the streets for parades, and are showered with candy while shouting “Helau” or “Alaaf” and singing songs. Join the German Language School in Holmdel at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 112 Middletown Road for an authentic German Karneval celebration on Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 5:00 to 6:15 pm.

“Call the fifth season, ‘Fasching’ in Germany and Switzerland, has its roots in the Middle Ages and today, it is celebrated throughout northern Europe. Each year we host a Cologne-inspired party that shows the costumes, food and music, and similar to celebrations found in Mainz and Duesseldorf,” says Principal Michaela Greco. “Using these festivities we engage our students not only in language, but share culture, and traditions they will remember long after they leave our classes.” 

How is Carnival Celebrated?

Just as a high school marching band in uniform with epaulettes performs for a crowd, the “Funkenmariechen” girls, dressed in red and white skirt uniforms, will perform traditional dances. The school principal will announce this year’s Prince and Princess who “rule” their “subjects” back home for the duration of the Karneval season. Parents will provide treats that can include traditional Krapfen, similar to doughnuts.

Historically, cities throughout Germany, portions of Austria, and Switzerland celebrate Carnival, which officially begins on November 11th at 11:11 am and continues until the day before Ash Wednesday, the traditional start of the Lenten season, with only a break for Christmas. For some people, Carnival represents good and evil with costumed attendees wearing happy and angry masks to signify the happiness of the approaching spring and/or to ward off the dark, evil spirits of winter.  No matter how it’s celebrated, the end of Carnival means that spring is fast approaching.

For more information about this event and activities of the German Language School in Holmdel, Princeton and Rumson, visit us online at, like us on Facebook and follow us @GermanSchoolMC.