Another kind of integration: participating in Carnival

Its coming closer again – every year between early-February and mid-March there is no other topic as highly discussed and dividing as Karneval or Fasching or Fasnet.

First, it divides German society in those going jeck (mad, crazy) during Karneval and those fleeing from the country to either go skiing or enjoying sun in a far-away Karneval-escape. Next, this season divides those who love Karneval into different groups, calling it Karneval, Fasching or Fasnet, depending on where they live.
While North-Rhine-Westphalia is a carnivals stronghold where it draws serious consequences to call this week of drinking alcohol and running around in crazy outfits Fasching. In the south however, it is opposite: do not say Karneval in Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg! It is at least Fasching, however a true Swabian would never say Fasching but Fasnet!

And of course every carnival stronghold is the best, in their eyes. The title of being THE carnival stronghold is highly contested, especially Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz are competing against each other and make fun of the others’ attempts of celebrating.
A quick tip:
When you participate in Cologne’s Karneval: Never say HELAU, shout ALAAF whenever possible 😉
When participating in Düsseldorf’s or Mainz’s celebrations use HELAU and do not try out what happens if you shout ALAAF.