German Club celebrates Karneval

On Tuesday, Mar. 1, German Club celebrated Karneval, Germany’s take on Mardi Gras. People gather to eat food, listen to music and take part in a variety of activities before Ash Wednesday.


Sophomore Brooke Devience and freshman Otto Young battle to take the victory in balloon stomp.

Karneval dates back to the sixteenth century, where Catholic Germans celebrated before the solemn 40 days of Lent began. Today, people gather for parades in big cities such as Cologne, where they wear colorful costumes and masks, create floats, drink beer and dance to festive music. One of the biggest traditions is the tie-cutting ceremony, where women cut mens’ ties and kiss them, which began during the era of women’s rights. Cutting the tie represents equality between women and men.

Antioch Community High School German Club celebrates this event every year, usually in early March depending on when Lent begins. Members get to eat pizza and other snacks, play games and listen to music. The golden toilet game, where students try to get a roll of toilet paper in the ‘basket’, is a classic game that is played almost every year. Balloon stomp is another popular game where members must be the last person standing with an unpopped balloon around their ankle.

This year, members participated in a new game called ‘find the mitten’, where they were blindfolded and had to find a pair of matching mittens to put on their chair—the catch being that other players could steal the mittens.

Freshman Malachi Rentsch really enjoys German class, which led him to joining the club. His favorite game was ‘find the mitten’, which he was the winner of.

Freshman Kendra Schaefer also participated in Karneval for the first time.

“I liked the balloon [game], it was actually so fun,” Schaefer said.

German teacher Chad Rusk attends the event each year and runs some of the games.

“My favorite part is being able to have the German students all together having fun and playing games,” Rusk said.

While German Club’s version of Karneval is not like the big gatherings in Germany, there is still authenticity in the way it is celebrated.

“Wanting to act free and silly is similar to that of the vibe in Germany,” Rusk said. “The music and the Spezi [drink mixed with cola and orange soda] are very classic German.”

Karneval was a great way for German Club members to spend time with their friends, while having many opportunities to win fun prizes. With many members of the club being underclassmen, the Karneval tradition can be celebrated in years to come.