Brisbane Karneval celebrations to bring a taste of Germany to Australia
In celebration of Germany’s fifth season, the Brisbane German Club and its Brisbane Stammtisch have once again come together to host the annual Brisbane Karneval, this year taking place on February 23, 2019.
The Karneval season in Germany is generally seen as a time for people to let their hair down before the start of Lent, with various forms of the celebrations occurring around the world, including Rio de Janeiro, Nice, New Orleans, and Notting Hill.
Germany’s Karneval is arguably known as the centre of these celebrations in Europe, and the season officially starts on the 11th day of November at exactly 11:11am, and ends at the stroke of midnight on Shroud Tuesday.
Claudia Lüttringhaus, organiser of the Brisbane Karneval event, said the fifth season is affectionately known as Germany’s ‘silly season’, and she has adapted the much-loved celebrations to Australian culture with live performances, while also showcasing Germany’s traditional cuisine and imported German Bier.
Karneval is the time to shine for millions of Germans, letting loose at the peak of the Karneval season in February.
“[In Germany], Karnevalists symbolically steal the key to City Hall from the Lord Mayor, who usually joins in this silly tradition and they take over the town and fill the streets with parades and masquerades, followed by dress-up parties at night time,” she said.
“Now, I am organising it here in Brisbane, including the live performances… but unfortunately, some original German elements are simply not replicable if you want the Australian public to be a part of this colourful party.”
The origins of the Karneval celebrations date back as far the middle ages, and each German region has adopted the traditions in their unique ways, and many of the traditions date back to Pagan celebrations where people would wear wood-carved masks with faces that symbolise devils, witches, animals and other “wild characters”.
These figures have been the part of the culture to drive out evil spirits and the darkness of the winter, while other explanations say that it had developed as a result of a Christian understanding of good and evil.