Rose Monday

Rose Monday

Between February 2 and March 8; Monday before Lent
Germany is famous for its Carnival celebrations, which reach a climax on Rose Monday, the day before Shrove Tuesday. More than 400 Carnival balls are held in Munich alone, and Rose Monday celebrations are held in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz, Münster, and Berlin as well. In addition to balls and parades, which take place in small towns as well as the cities, the day is observed by singing songs, often with haunting tunes, that have been composed especially for Carnival.
Because it is the last time for hi-jinks before Lent, Rosenmontag is characterized by a free-for-all atmosphere in which the normal rules of behavior are relaxed. It is not uncommon, for example, for people to go up to strangers on the street and kiss them.
The German name for the day, Rosen Montag, or "Roses Monday," is a mispronunciation of the original name Rasen Montag, meaning "rushing Monday" or "live-it-up Monday."
CONTACTS:
German Information Center
4645 Reservoir Rd. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
202-471-5532; fax: 202-471-5526
www.germany.info
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 132
DictFolkMyth-1984, pp. 192, 370, 977, 1082
EncyEaster-2002, p. 224
FestWestEur-1958, pp. 55, 56
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 134
RelHolCal-2004, p. 91
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