Carnival or “Fasching” (or what we call Mardi Gras in New Orleans) begins on November 11th at 11:11am and finishes at midnight on Shrove Tuesday (or Faschingsdienstag) before Ash Wednesday which is celebrated with parties and parades. This is known as the “fifth season in Germany” (only for Bavaria Starkbierzeit coincides with this). Fasching in Germany is what Halloween is for Americans.
As the Carnival season draws to an end, people start to go crazy for Krapfen. As people start planning how they will celebrate Fasching, either with watching a parade, dressing up or going to a party, the sales in Krapfen increase thanks to their delicious, sweet smelling, mouth watering tastiness. If you can’t find a bakery selling Krapfen then you might be in the wrong country!
Here are the Krapfen I bought this morning which inspired this blog!
A Krapfen, also known as a Berliner OUTSIDE of Bavaria originates from Berlin. When JFK visited Berlin in 1963, he stated the now famous words “Ich bin ein Berliner!” he wasn’t referring to the jelly donut that everyone so commonly thinks he did. He was in fact, underlining his sentiment for his support of West Germany and that he felt he was one of them. In Berlin however, a Krapfen is traditionally called a “Pfannkuchen” or pan cakes, therefore, no one really mistook him for a jelly donut!
A Krafen is, like I said, a delicious, mouth watering, creamy goodness, sweet smelling jelly donut. The most common and traditional Krafen is filled with apricot jelly or raspberry jam and dusted with a coating of powdered sugar. Other forms of this heavenly desert are filled with chocolate crème, eggnog custard, champagne custard and many other fillings and sometimes covered in white chocolate, milk chocolate, poppy seeds and more.
The more traditional Krapfen
The tradition of the Krapfen dates back to the Middle Ages. Then, they ate a donut similar to what we enjoy today. The tradition was to eat them before the Lent season due to the high fat content. Therefore, people stocked up on the delicious snacks for extra energy storage.
Fasching in Dietzenbach 2008
In 2007, a friend of mine and I got invited to join some family friends of mine in a Faschings-day Parade in Dietzenbach on one of the parade floats, just outside of Frankfurt. So we bought a few cheap accessories (we were exchange students at the time = limited funds) and partied with the Germans!
Fasching 2015 in Neustadt – the largest Fasching in Niederbayern
Here are some Fasching events in Regensburg:
UniBall – Regensburg’s traditional Faschings meeting place which offers the best party-DJs, bars and dance floors on three areas, a great entertainment, musical surprise guests, the best masks and of course lots of cool people
The Mystic Eyes – party with other Fasching-goers with music from the 60s and 70s.
If you’re REALLY looking for a good time, then I suggest you go to Colonge, Germany where you will find a week-long celebration called “the crazy days” between Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday which is the largest and most famous!
Photos from the internet of Crazy Days in Cologne
Here is a quick, easy recipe for making your own Krapfen at home
For more festivals and events in Europe: