Carnival in Germany, Switzerland and Austria

In German-speaking countries, there are essentially two distinct variations of Carnivals: the Rhenish Carnival in the west of Germany centred around the cities of Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mainz, and the Alemannic or Swabian-Alemannic Fastnacht in Southwestern Germany), Switzerland, Alsace and Vorarlberg (Western Austria). The Rhenish Carnival (Rheinischer Karneval), mainly in the states of (North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate) is famous for celebrations such as parades and costume balls. Cologne carnival is the largest and most famous. Cologne, along with Düsseldorf and Mainz, are held in the public media to be Germany's three carnival "strongholds". 

In parts of East and South Germany and Austria the carnival is called Fasching. In Franconia and the southwest-parts and also some other parts of Germany a carnival is called Fastnacht.

Although the festival and party season in Germany starts as early as the beginning of January, the actual carnival week starts on the Thursday ("Weiberfastnacht") 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."

Introduction and overview of the Fasching Season

PPT about Fasching, Karneval and Fasnacht (basic introduction and useful vocabulary words)

Get Germanized -- English version of German Karneval (Cultural significance, traditions and historical background)

Deutsch Global -- Fasching / Karneval in Deutschland (German conversation on history and traditions with subtitles in English)

The History of Mardi Gras - How did the New Orleans holiday tradition develop?

Kindernetz: Die Fünfte Jahreszeit - (video for workpage with blanks)

Internet Resource Pages for Students "Fasching-Spezial" 

- Resources on Faschings traditions, history, explanations and crafts "Faschings-Quiz"

Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasching – In Deutschland wird die “fünfte Jahreszeit” gefeiert (Landeskunde - Reading)


KiKa von ARD und ZDF: Checker Can - Faschings-Check  -- BR Mediathek Video
Euromaxx: Die Wahrheit über Deutschland - Karneval    -- The Truth About Germany - Karneval -- (Englische Version)

Euromaxx: Der Rosenmontag in Köln: Höhepunkt des Karnevals

Euromaxx: Das Düsseldorfer Prinzenpaar im Karneval

Euromaxx: Filmprojekt zum Karneval: "Alaaf you" 

Euromaxx: Karneval in Venedig, 2013

Euromaxx: Die Magie der Masken: Karneval in Venedig

Euromaxx: Karneval in Venedig: Der Perückenmacher



  • Deutsch 3
  • Deutsch 4: 

  • Mask templates are below.  Please note, none of these masks are my creation. I collected them from various free template sites and assembled them into a PowerPoint/PDF. Here is a brief description of the masks:
    • 1-22: Traditional masks
    • 23-26: People masks (clowns, etc)
    • 27-59: Animal masks
    • 60-72: Monster masks

  • 25 common words associated with Fasching/Karneval
  • Various activities are below.
    • Vocab List with fill-in-the-blank worksheet (Faschingswörter)
    • 30 unique bingo boards (Faschingslotto)
    • Dominio game (match the picture/vocab to the description) (Faschingsdomino)


Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasching

Fasching/Karneval UNIT TEST

Multiple Choice, Matching, and Listening/Audio Assessment

Mainzer Fastnacht - Short Practice QUIZ with Listening/Audio

Karneval, Fasching, Fasnet, Fasnacht - Rags to Riches

Wieviel weißt du über diese Zeit in Deutschland und anderswo?

Karneval Practice - Pop-Ups
So you think you know all there is to know about Karneval? Let's just see.

Karneval/Fasching - Rags to Riches
Facts and Fun about Karneval

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