Germany's carnival called Fasching is being celebrated now. This photo was taken during the Fasching in Breitenbrunn in Germany last year. Most towns and cities in Germany are having carnival programs and activities which are unique from each other. During the Faschingszug or carnival Parade, participants wear colorful and festive customs. Here is some info about Fasching in Germany.
Germany, especially the western part (North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate) is famous for Karneval celebrations such as parades and costume balls. Whilst these events are widespread in places such as Wattenscheid, Krefeld, Aachen, Mönchengladbach, Duisburg, Bonn, Eschweiler, Odenheim, Bocholt and Cleves, only Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz are called carnival "strongholds" in the public media. In parts of East and South Germany and Austria the carnival is called Fasching and especially Munich developed a special kind of celebration. In Franconia and the southwest-parts and also some other parts of Germany a carnival is called Fastnacht or Fasnet.
Although the festival and party season in Germany starts as early as the beginning of January, the actual carnival week starts on the Thursday ("Altweiberfastnacht") before Ash Wednesday. German Carnival parades are held on the weekend before and especially on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday), the day before Shrove Tuesday, and sometimes also on Shrove Tuesday ("Faschingsdienstag") in the suburbs of larger carnival cities. The carnival session begins each year on 11 November at 11:11 a.m. and finishes on Ash Wednesday with the main festivities happening around Rosenmontag; this time is also called the "Fifth Season."
While Germany's carnival traditions are mostly celebrated in the predominantly Roman Catholic southern and western parts of the country, the Protestant North traditionally knows a festival under the Low Saxon names Fastelavend [ˈfastl̩.ˌɒːvm̩t], Fastelabend [ˈfastl̩.ˌɒːbm̩t] and Fastlaam (also spelled Fastlom) [ˈfastl̩ɒːm]. This name has been imported to Denmark as Fastelavn and is related to Vastelaovend in the Low-Saxon-speaking parts of the Netherlands. It is traditionally connected with farm servants or generally young men going from house to house in the villages and collecting sausages, eggs and bacon, which was consumed in a festivity on the same evening. While going from house to house they wore masks and made noise. The old tradition vanished in many places, in other places under influence of German carnival traditions it became to resemble carnival with its parades.