Home > Calendar > Holidays > Germany > Shrove Monday

Shrove Monday in Germany

Quick Facts

Carnival Monday is two days before Ash Wednesday and parades are held in many Catholic areas of Germany.

Local names

NameLanguage
RosenmontagGerman
Shrove MondayEnglish

Alternative name

Running Monday

Shrove Monday 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shrove Monday 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015
List of dates for other years

Carnival Monday (Rosenmontag, Fasching, Karneval, Fastnacht) is just before the beginning of Lent. Many people mark the occasion in some regions in Germany by holding street parades, parties and making fun of German stereotypes, politicians and other public figures.

Rosenmontag, or Carnival Monday, is celebrated with street parades and parties where people dress up in costumes in some parts of Germany.

©iStockphoto.com/Grischa Georgiew

What do people do?

Carnival parades with floats are held in many villages, towns and cities in Germany. The parades in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Aachen and Mainz are especially well-known. The floats generally make a mockery of German habits or local, national and international politicians and public figures. Many floats carry figures up to seven meters (22 feet) high. They often present recent events or taboo subjects in a satirical way.

Marching bands and local associations also take part in the parades. Large parades often attract thousands of spectators. Spectators often dress as mythical or political figures, with men often dressing as women.

There are also other local customs. In many places, people sing songs that are critical of recent events or figures of authority, such as politicians, police officers and even teachers. People in Cologne may cut off strangers' neck ties, as these are seen as symbol of authority. Special cabaret or other theatrical performances are held in southern Germany.

Public life

Carnival Monday is not a national public holiday in Germany. However, schools and some other organizations are closed and many people have one or more days off work in many Catholic areas. Public life generally focuses on carnival activities. There may be some local disruption to traffic, as roads in city and town centers are closed for the parades to take place.

Background

The traditions around the Carnival period are thought to have begun in the Roman period over two thousand years ago. It was customary that the servants and slaves played the role of masters for one day each year. This tradition is reflected in the custom of making a mockery of local, national and international leaders and public figures in modern times.

Carnival also marks the end of the period before Lent for many Christians. Lent is the name for the period before Easter. Some Christians fast and spend a lot of time in prayer during Lent. Traditionally, people did not eat meat, sugar or eggs or drink alcohol during this period. Remaining stores of these products were eaten in the Carnival period.

The German name for Carnival Monday is Rosenmontag. This name comes from the German dialect word roose meaning "frolic" and Montag meaning "Monday". The name was also originally used for the fourth Monday of lent because the pope traditionally consecrated a golden rose on the Sunday before. Other related holidays include Shrove or Carnival Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, which are celebrated worldwide, as well as Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday in Germany.

Shrove Monday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonFeb 261990Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 111991Shrove MondayObservance 
MonMar 21992Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 221993Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 141994Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 271995Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 191996Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 101997Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 231998Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 151999Shrove MondayObservance 
MonMar 62000Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 262001Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 112002Shrove MondayObservance 
MonMar 32003Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 232004Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 72005Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 272006Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 192007Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 42008Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 232009Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 152010Shrove MondayObservance 
MonMar 72011Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 202012Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 112013Shrove MondayObservance 
MonMar 32014Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 162015Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 82016Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 272017Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 122018Shrove MondayObservance 
MonMar 42019Shrove MondayObservance 
MonFeb 242020Shrove MondayObservance 

Other holidays in March 2014 in Germany

Advertising

Other calendars

Related links