Families and children in costumes, Rosenmontag 2009 in Aachen
|Significance||Highlight of Karneval before Lent|
|Date||Monday before Ash Wednesday|
|2019 date||4 March|
|2020 date||24 February|
|2021 date||15 February|
|2022 date||28 February|
The name for the carnival comes from the German dialect word roose meaning "frolic" and Montag meaning Monday.
Carnival is not a national holiday in Germany, but schools are closed on Rosenmontag and the following Tuesday in the strongholds and many other areas. Many schools as well as companies tend to give teachers, pupils and employees the Thursday before Rosenmontag off as well and have celebrations in school or in the working place on Weiberfastnacht, although every now and then there are efforts to cut these free holidays in some companies.
Celebrations usually include dressing up in fancy costumes, dancing, parades, heavy drinking and general public displays with floats. Every town in the Karneval areas boasts at least one parade with floats making fun of the themes of the day. Usually sweets (Kamelle) are thrown into the crowds lining the streets among cries of Helau or Alaaf, whereby the cry Kölle Alaaf is only applied in the Cologne Carnival – Alaaf stems from or Alle af, Ripuarian for "all [others] away". Sweets and tulips are thrown into the crowd.
The celebrations become quieter the next day, known as Veilchendienstag ("Violet Tuesday", Shrove Tuesday), and end with Ash Wednesday.
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