Carnival – A Short History of Organized Merriment
Today is “Weiberfastnacht” (“women’s carnival”), marking the beginning of carnival season. At this time of year, normal rules go out the window in the Rhineland and southern Germany. Visitors to the Swabian-Allemanic “Fastnacht” are led to believe they are witnessing a medieval folk tradition. But is carnival really as old as all that? The historian Robert Kluth explains the origins of this tradition of organized merriment.