Munich’s party-happy residents have been celebrating the litany of colour and joy that takes over the Bavarian city at Carnival (known locally as Fasching) for well over a century now!
Carnival fever first took hold in Munich at the end of the 19th century, when locals would dress up in amazingly extravagant costumes to celebrate the Fasching (the feast before Lent). Although the feast may have lost some of its religious significance since then, it’s lost none of the original wonder, with costumes, tasty treats and amazing processions aplenty! So if you’re about for Carnival season, here’s what you can’t miss!
1. München Narrisch
No worries if you don’t speak any German – Carnival is all about music, dance and pure joy, which are easy to understand in any language! And the apex of this unadulterated silliness (known as Narrisch) is the procession that will weave its way around Munich on February 23rd, 24th and 25th. In fact, the entire central zone from Stachus to Viktualienmarkt closes down all traffic to help the revellers on foot who make their way across the grand Marienplatz. Of course, you can run into our Free Tour guides here, too! Come rain or shine, they’ll be there to help you discover all that Munich has to offer!
2. Tanz der Marktfrauen
If you retrace your steps back to Viktualienmarkt, you’ll find one of the Carnival’s most well-known oddities – the dance of the market women. It takes place just once, at 11am on Tuesday (25th), so the little square fills up very quickly! Whilst the event itself is very popular, the actual programme of dances each year is a closely-guarded secret, and it’s only revealed to those who make the trip there…
If you do arrive early (or just want a quieter visit later) Viktualienmarkt is also host to a range of stalls selling weird and wonderful souvenirs: from decorations, flowers, and – most importantly – sweet treats from all over the world!
3. Kids’ Carnival
It can be tough to please everyone on a family holiday, but some of the most memorable activities are actually fun for all ages! You won’t be able to stop yourself smiling when you see the absolutely bonkers ‘Dance of the Mad Knights’ (Ball der damischen Ritter) at the Löwenbraukeller (February 24th, 1pm). It’s a medieval-inspired beer-hall frenzy where your little ones will be able to meet real princesses, fairies and knights!
There’s no doubt that a few of the adults will appreciate this event taking place at one of Munich’s famous beer halls! But if you’re really taken by your first taste of German beer, you might want to come and join us on our award-winning Beer Tour to try some of Munich’s best brews! Though if it’s the medieval fantasy that enchants you, you won’t want to miss a delightful day trip to the magnificent Neuschwanstein Palace!
Texto original de Rebeca San Cristobal. Traducción y adaptación de Sam Blurton.