What a great date! I should do something special today, so that I can look back and say “I did that on the 11th of the eleventh 2011”! Er, like…. um… Any ideas anyone?

Believe it or not, the carnival season has begun in Germany!

In our region this is known as Fasching, but there are many other regional names for it, such as Fastnacht, Fasnet, or Karneval. The “fifth season” is officially opened at 11 minutes past 11am, on the 11th day of the eleventh month, and continues until Shrove Tuesday.

Personally, I don’t celebrate carnival at all. But for many Germans, and Bavarians in particular, it is the party season.

For someone from the UK this used to seem quite strange, since 11th November is Armistice Day (followed by Remembrance Sunday). However, the Germans have their own day of remembrance, “Volkstrauertag”, which is always two Sundays before the first Sunday in Advent.

Poppy (Papaver orientale): symbol of remembrance