Karneval, Fasching, Fastnacht – Mardi Gras or Carnival, German style, is coming up soon (Feb. 10-12). And, as for most things, there’s an app for that!
Here’s a look at some interesting German carnival and Fasching apps for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android devices, most of them free. To find the Apple apps, just go to the App Store on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, or go to the iTunes Store and select iPhone or iPad apps. For Android, go to Google Play. Unless stated otherwise, all the apps below are available for both Android and iOS, and are in German. This means they are great for people with at least intermediate German skills trying to improve their German, as well as those who actually are planning to attend carnival in German-speaking Europe. A word of caution! I have not personally used or tested any of these apps. If you have, please leave a comment!
The Kölner Karneval (Cologne Carnival) is one of the biggest carnival events in Germany, if not the biggest. Most (but not all) of the apps listed here are related to Karneval in Cologne. The first one is in both German and English:
Cologne Carnival Guide (iOS only)
This app for the iPhone or iPad costs a very reasonable 99 cents (or 0.89 euro) and is pretty comprehensive. According to its maker, Stephan Schneider, it gives the user a personal tour of the city and offers insider info only known to native Kölner. He answers questions such as the following: Where are the best Karneval parties? What is the best street carnival? What carnival events should I attend? Some of its many features:
- Maps, tours
- Traffic guide (blocked-off streets)
- Overview of the top/best Karneval events
- Choice of German or English
- A ticket finder for difficult-to-get events
- History and background of the Kölner Karneval
All data is available offline. You don’t need a Wi-Fi or cell connection.
This is a free Kölner Karneval app for Android and iOS (iPad and iPhone). K-App will help you find various carnival events in the Cologne area. (There are very many in different parts of the Cologne metro area.) It also provides insider tips and offers the following features:
- Dates and times for carnival events
- History and background of Cologne Carnival
- A bar and restaurant (and restroom!) locator
- Public transportation guide
- Find the many neighborhood events in Cologne
- Photos and guides for events, accommodations, shopping, parking
Deutsch: “Der Karneval in Köln ist ein verbindendes Element. Wusstest Du, dass es über 170 Karnevalsvereine in Köln gibt, und dass viele von ihnen nicht nur feiern, sondern sich auch sozial engagieren? Mehr dazu in der K-App! – Wohin in Köln? Du kommst nicht aus Köln? Für Dich haben wir in der K-App die wichtigsten Zusatz-Infos für Karneval zusammengestellt: wie hinkommen, wo übernachten, wo parken, wo einkaufen und vieles mehr.” See some sample K-App pages below. Website: www.k-app.de
This is a free Android and iOS app from mainzer-fastnacht.de. Its features are similar to the K-App above, although it may not be quite as good, judging from user ratings.
JeckApp (Android and iOS)
A Jeck is a carnival reveler or carnival “fool.” This free app from the Kreissparkasse Köln (Cologne Savings Bank) even offers recipes, carnival sayings and sounds, and a “Schunkelbarometer” (to measure the intensity of your swaying). Other features:
- Maps with Cologne walking tours and themed guided tours
- Recipes (in Kölsch and High German)
- Ten historic Karneval sound bites
Deutsch: “Speziell für die Karnevalisten im Rheinland hat die Kölner Sparkasse die Jeck App entwickelt. Auf ihr lassen sich zehn teils historische karnevalistische Töne und Sprüche abspielen. Außerdem bietet die App ein Schunkelbarometer mit dem sich die Intensität des traditionellen Karnevalsbrauchs messen lässt. Ja nachdem wie sehr man sich dabei ins Zeug legt, werden Titel verliehen. Mögliche Auszeichnungen sind: Pappnase, Karnevalsmuffel oder Karnevalsprinz.” – FOCUS Online: Karneval, Fasching und Fastnacht – Smartphone-Apps für die närrische Zeit
Basel Fasnacht HD (iPad)
Carnival Parade Tracker ST (Basel Fasnacht) (iPhone)
This 99-cent iOS app is in German, English and French, appropriate for a Swiss app. It is a guide to one of the more unusual carnival observances in the world. Basel’s Fasnacht carnival starts after most other carnival celebrations have ended. It also runs exactly 72 hours, starting at 4:00 a.m. in the dark (all street lights are turned off) with a parade known as the Morgenstraich! This app tells you where and when this and other events take place. Available in two different formats for the iPad or iPhone. NOTE: Double-check to see if this app has been updated for 2013! That is not at all clear from the App Store description.
Stadt-Entdecker – Der mobile Stadtführer für München
This is a free “discover Munich” guide for the iPad and iPhone. I couldn’t tell from the App Store description if it covers Fasching at all, but it looks like a decent guide to the Bavarian capital. It’s listed here because I couldn’t find any apps for Fasching in Munich or anywhere else. Kind of surprising and disappointing, I think.