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Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

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#JoinGermanTradition: Carnival Craze in Rottweil & Schramberg


Travel With Locals, Germany, City Travel, Europe, Travel Blog 0

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“Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.” My group of international travel bloggers and I did go for this deep look – deep into the nature of the local Black Forest traditions. As part of our itinerary #JoinGermanTradition, we went in search for what essentially makes up German traditions, and what better time of the year for experiencing those traditions than the actual carnival season?

Schramberg is a place you should have heard of. Once a year, the locals literally go “out of their minds”, bursting from a well-behaved German town into a flurry of colours, screams – and confetti.

It is hard to imagine all those people having “straight jobs & straight faces” in their usual, everyday lives. Not during carnival, that is. “Als Bürgermeister musst Du alles mitmachen hier!” We meet with the mayor of town in his funny dress-up gown, who tells us not without pride that you “just have to play along”: It’s carnival after all! Normal to meet larger-than-life sized cats in the streets. Have tipsy fishermen sing their songs for you in a bar, completely dressed up of course. Find that you are actually wearing stupid hats and glasses yourself. And admiring the sense of community that rules the streets of Schramberg during this exceptional and rather ecstatic time of year.

Proudly welcomed to Schramberg: Our first (nightly) expedition of this Black Forest town starts with a happy meet & greet like this.

Proudly welcomed to Schramberg: Our first (nightly) expedition of this Black Forest town starts with a happy meet & greet like this.

 

Andrea, our local Schramberg guide, takes us round ...

Andrea, our local Schramberg guide, takes us round …

 

... it is Carnival Sunday, and the streets are lined with ... chicken.

… it is Carnival Sunday, and the streets are lined with … polar bears & pretty shoes.

 

Think Germans are the most serious nation on the planet? Think again ...

Think Germans are the most serious nation on the planet? Think again …

 

... one thing that rules during carnival here in Schramberg is the so-called "Brezelsegen", or blessing of the Brezel, with trophies collected each year.

… one thing that rules during carnival here in Schramberg is the so-called “Brezelsegen”, or blessing of the Brezel, with Brezel trophies collected each year during carnival.

 

Kids just looove the festivities all around town ...

Kids just looove the festivities all around town …

 

... and are into it from the earliest years of their lives here!

… and are into it from the earliest years of their lives!

 

The mayor takes it easy, happily partaking in the carnival craze of his town ...

The mayor takes it easy, happily partaking in the carnival craze of his town …

 

... as even the local photographer swaps future career ambitions for a rather ridiculous outfit on this day.!

… as even the local photographer swaps future career ambitions for a rather ridiculous outfit on this day.!

 

And here are the happy creatures, distributing "Brezel" among the spectators - but only after you sing with them for about a minute, do you become worthy of a Brezel yourself ... !

And here are the happy carnival creatures, distributing “Brezel” among the spectators – but only after you sing with them for about a minute we find, do you become worthy of receiving a Brezel yourself … ! Still love the exceptional costumes they are wearing.

 

The city of Rottweil, Schramberg’s “carnival partner in crime”, has us get out of bed as early as six in the morning: “Narrensprung” it is in the sense of living German traditions!

#JoinGermanTradition in all its glory: Every now and then, you do become reminded that despite all the ecstasy, noise, colours & costumes, you are actually still in Germany. It is winter (the middle of February), and the “Narrensprung” parade starts at 8.00 a.m. sharp on a Monday morning, only to last exactly two and a half hours into the day. Fascinating – despite the -7°C degrees of the morning hours ..! (Note: A warm coffeehouse is always nearby).

Traditionally, the dress-up of people turned cats, rats, dogs, jesters, etc. marks the chasing-away of the evil (winter) spirits, as well as a period of ecstasy right before the start of religious fastening all the way to Easter in the spring. It also tells of the rather rebellious spirit towards people of the upper ruling classes and nobility of the time, embodied in the character of the cat: “The cat has always been admired for going its own way. Once a year, we all dress up as cats or jesters, essentially to become one on the same level: Status, social class, individual clothing etc. are disappearing as we all look the same! And our greeting to people in the street is the same, too: Wohohohooo … Wohohohooo!”

Yeah rite? Oh, I just love watching the Germans go wild …! 😀

Eight in the morning sharp marks the begin of the "Narrensprung" in a town called Rottweil (yes, it is where the Rottweiler dog breed takes its name from!).

Eight in the morning sharp marks the begin of the “Narrensprung” in a town called Rottweil (yes, it is also the town where the Rottweiler dog breed takes its name from!).

 

The local carnival parade ...

The local carnival parade …

 

... is a flurry of colours & carnival characters ...

… is a flurry of colours & funny carnival characters …

 

... with individuals standing out, giving away sweets & other goodies to the crowds ...

… with individuals standing out, giving away sweets & other goodies to the crowds …

 

... whose carnival masks are already worn proudly by even the youngest ones ...

… and whose elaborate carnival masks are already worn proudly by even the youngest ones …

 

... speaking of carnival masks: Aren't they beautiful to watch at a close-up distance?

… speaking of carnival masks: Aren’t they beautiful to watch at a close-up distance?

 

Rottweil in the Black Forest ...

Rottweil in the Black Forest …

 

... also has us discover the beautiful local church ...

… also has us discover the beautiful local church …

 

... as well as more intimate images of its local people: Jesters taking a break in between parades in the streets.

… as well as more intimate images of its local people: Jesters taking a break in between parades in the streets.

 

The fun, however, does not stop there. Once a year, in addition to the carnival, Schramberg celebrates a thing called “Bach-Na-Fahrt”, essentially going wild on water!

If you think of street parades as boring to stand and watch, think again: “River parades” might just be your thing! Once a year, the icy river waters of Schramberg are home to forty different dancing dinghies, each built with “tender loving care” in the fashion of local themes and funny, clever, or simply absurd details. It still is carnival, after all! Throw in German ingenuity mixed with poetry, tapestry, even chivalry on little river boats, and you will come close to imagining the themes of the Black Forest “Bach-Na-Fahrt”.

Welcome everyone to the ...

Welcome everyone to the …

 

... craziest carnival event so far: "Da Bach na, da Bach na ..."

… craziest carnival event so far: “Da Bach na, da Bach na …”

 

featuring camels from Oman ...

featuring camels from Oman …

 

... or chicken from just round the corner!

… or chicken from just round the corner!

 

We love taking it all in: Cacinda happily clicking away ...

We love taking it all in: Cacinda happily clicking away …

 

... while more spectacular scenes unfold.!

… as more spectacular scenes unfold in front of us.!

 

Last but not least, the mayor still in his former glory ...!

Last but not least, we find the mayor of Schramberg still in his former glory …!

 

As well as the children of town happily abducted by .. witches!

As well as the children of town happily abducted by .. witches.

 

But they do have a KINDER parade, after all !!

But they do have a KINDER parade, after all !!

 

As well as heaps of fun: Love the #JoinGermanTradition thing here in Schramberg!

As well as heaps of fun: Love the #JoinGermanTradition thing here in Schramberg!

 

Goodbye for now, my dear "Narren" ... see you next year for carnival in the Black Forest!

Goodbye for now, my dear “Narren” … see you next year for carnival in the Black Forest?

 

For more fun picture stories on the German carnival as well as local Black Forest images, head over to my Flickr Photosharing Gallery here:

Have a look at even more happy, colourful stories from our carnival trip through the Black Forest on any of my friends’ travel blogs listed here:

Disclaimer: I have been invited by the German National Tourist Board to ” #JoinGermanTradition ” on this creative culture trip to the Black Forest. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
#JoinGermanTradition: Creative Travel Tales & Tips from the Black Forest District
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