Karneval and Fasching: There’s an App for That!

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: Continue reading

November: The mourning month

All Souls Day and Mainz’s Newweling candles

Today, November 2, is All Souls Day (Allerseelen). In Germany, most of Europe, and all over the world where the western Christian church is dominant, this is a day devoted to remembering and praying for the “faithful departed.” Indeed, the Latin (Roman Catholic) name for this day is In Commemoratione Omnium Fidelium Defunctorum (“commemoration of all the faithful departed”).

As history (and two world wars) would have it, November in the western world has become a month for commemorating the dead — whether fallen in war or otherwise. Since the 14th century, the Roman Catholic church has dedicated the month of November to the dead, and in the United States, November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to remember and honor those who fought and died, originally in the Great War ended by the armistice that took effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, on November 11, 1918. (In fact, the date was known as Armistice Day prior to World War II.) This day, known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day in some other Allied nations, is also a holiday in France and Belgium. Continue reading