Lets go to German Fastnacht Museum in Kitzingen

Lets go to German Fastnacht Museum in Kitzingen

We also wanted to use the visit to the exhibition of the best press photos in Kitzingen to visit the Carnival Museum, which only opened in November 2013 in the new building in the Main Franconian city, after all it is the official museum of the German Carnival Association.

Around 4,000 carnival clubs, carnival guilds, carnival societies and fools' guilds are organized in the umbrella organization of the German Carnival.

Fastnacht in the mirror of cultural-historical development

kitzingen fassnacht 1As early as 1963, the first plans for a future museum were made as part of a charitable foundation under the motto "Fastnacht in the mirror of cultural-historical development", which could then be implemented with the opening in 1966 as the first carnival museum in Kitzingen. Until 2011, the carnival exhibitions were housed in two buildings: in the seven floors of the medieval Falterturm and in the Hans-Joachim-Schumacher-Haus in the neighbouring Rosenstrasse. The Falterturm housed the display collection of the German Fastnacht Museum, which focused on the collection of masks, props, medals and decorations, including the oldest fool's cap in Germany from 1840.

The Falterturm was built between 1469 and 1496 as a fortification and watchtower of the outer Kitzinger city wall and is still the best preserved part of this fortification. The crooked tip of the tower, which is protected as a monument, is striking and is therefore also known as the crooked tower. Today the owner is the city of Kitzingen. The height of the tower is 52 meters, divided into seven floors, which means that the Falterturm contributes as a striking building to the silhouette of the city.

kitzingen fassnacht 2The exhibition in the Falterturm was closed in January 2011 because the tower was classified as being at high risk of fire in an expert opinion. First of all, the tower was to be upgraded in terms of fire protection for around 250,000 euros. However, various plans for the conversion were subsequently rejected because they would have changed the structure and character of the tower too much. Instead, in March 2012 the construction of a new "fool center" began in a building complex between Rosengasse 10 and Luitpoldstrasse 4. The center, which cost 4.4 million euros, was completed in November 2013. After the extensive renovation and the new conception, the museum presents itself in a completely different way.

Masks, props, medals and orders, as well as medieval customs, literature and documents related to carnival are still the focal points of the Fastnacht Museum collection. However, all the artefacts are presented on a large scale and thus enable a "journey" through the history of carnival from the Middle Ages to the present day, including politically difficult times. On our journey through the world of fools, we encountered medieval fools, early mask figures, moustached runners, figures from the Commedia dellÀrte and participants in baroque costume festivals and the bourgeois carnival.

Historical development of the carnival

kitzingen fassnacht 3As early as 3,000 BC, the repentance of masters and slaves was jokingly celebrated in Mesopotamia. This motif was taken up by the Roman Saturnalia, which took place in December. A prince of Saturnalia was chosen and wine was drunk in large quantities. Also at the March celebrations, the Bacchanalia, people consumed alcohol and disguised themselves with skins and animal skins. The Bacchanalia goes back to the Greek Dionysia. Processions and comedy competitions were held in honour of the Greek god Dionysus, who stood for intoxication, transformation and ecstasy.

Pre-Christian rites may have been preserved in some masks and customs, for example from the Celtic environment. One could assume this in the symbolic struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, spring and winter, which can often be found in the Alpine region. These motifs can be found, for example, at the Egetman parade in Tramin or at the Mullerlauf in Thaur.

kitzingen fassnacht 4Theories on the Germanic-Celtic origin of these customs were particularly popular during National Socialism. On the other hand, scepticism about these theories has persisted since the post-war period. All of these festivals show characteristics that later also characterize carnival, carnival and carnival. Apparently, individual components of these primeval rituals were Christian. In any case, they show that people at all times felt the need to celebrate happy holidays.

The collection of the German Fastnachtsmuseum in Kitzingen is considered to be significant and, as a scientifically sound documentation of the carnival, is probably unique in the German-speaking world, after all it is considered the European documentation center for carnival customs. It also contains the oldest surviving fool's cap in Germany, which dates back to 1840 and was found in Speyer.

11 theses and what does the Bible say about them?

kitzingen fassnacht 5The eleven has a special position in the number symbolism based on the Holy Scriptures. It lies between the holy ten (Ten Commandments) and the number twelve, which is very important in the Bible. A person who moves beyond ten moves in a kind of no man's land. And anyone who jeopardizes their eternal bliss for the enjoyment of the moment can only be a fool. Thus, the eleven referred to sin and the associated idea of the apocalypse. In depictions of the end of the world or the Last Judgment, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, the clocks usually show the eleventh hour.

- So if you want to know what "Helau" and "Alaaf" mean;
- What the Bütt is all about;
- Why everything in the carnival revolves around the eleven;

Then you are at the right address in the German Fastnacht Museum Kitzingen.

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