“Narree!” yelled the witch.
“Narro!” shouted back the crowd. The children screaming at the top of their voices, their plastic bags held open in front of them, waiting for the rain of candy.
Although Carnival exists everywhere, it’s usually more about dressing funny and partying than to respect some kind of tradition. Not so in the Black Forest in Germany. There, the Alemannic Carnival lasts for a week and is about scaring the bad winter spirits and ghosts away. People dress up in traditional scary costumes, often adorned with bells, whips, pig bladder balloons and other delicacies, and go about the streets in group, making noise and pranking people.
The biggest day in this week of celebration is Rosenmontag, the Monday of the big parade, and I was lucky enough to be in Freiburg for this. Most shops were closed and the main street was blocked, with food stands selling currywurst sprouting all over the tramway tracks.
At two in the afternoon, people crowded the streets to see the witches, fools (narren), spirits and marching bands coming through. Some throw candy or gifts in the air, while others will spray you with confettis or straw, lace your shoelaces together, put some paint on your face or try to drag you into the parade, you never know what to expect!
Here’s the video!
Carnival is the biggest party-time of the year in this part of Germany, more important then Halloween or even New Year, so it might just be the best month to schedule your Black Forest trip!