Every February, people in Germany celebrate Cologne Carnival (Karneval), a week-long festival that takes place between Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.
Karneval has roots in the Catholic religion and is the time where relationships and things that are normal get reversed. People are also allowed to let loose but afterwards repent for what they’ve done before the time of Lent — the time of preparation and reflection before Easter.
“Karneval is like a mixture between the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade and Halloween where everyone goes out and dresses up to have lots of fun,” Caleb Hauck, the president of German Club, said.
Nathan Bates, a German professor at USD, said students should know the values and traditions of other cultures.
“It’s also good to celebrate other cultures and learn to respect differences in ideas and tradition,” Bates said. “Hopefully students here today will take a little bit out of the tradition in the culture and keep it for themselves to take it home and remember the value of having this cultural exchange.”
On Monday, Feb. 24 the German Club celebrated Rosenmontag, also known as Rose Monday. This celebration included such activities as Pferderennen (a German card game which translates to horse racing), knocking down the Berlin Wall, face mask decorating and doing German chants.
“Besides the chants and the other activities we’re knocking down our version of the Berlin Wall to celebrate the reunification of Germany which is one of the most significant events in modern German history,” Hauck said.
Throughout the evening students came to support the celebration.
Matt Sutton, a student at USD, said he came to the Rosenmontag celebration to try something new.
“I thought it would be a good time to hang out and learn some extra German along the way with some of my classmates,” Sutton said. “It’s always nice to try out something new.”
This semester the German Club was relaunched and has plans to continue hosting events for the students and faculty at USD.
“This is one of the best turnouts we have had for a German Club activity,” Bates said. “The German Club is just beginning to be restarted and resurrect itself on campus and we’re excited to see it in progress.”