Rosenmontag

photo from commons.wikimedia.org
'Autokuh' by Rolf Hahn
This last Monday before Lent is a day for dressing up, having fun and letting your hair down. We've forgotten that in the UK, where it's a normal working day. 


Today is 'Rosenmontag' in German speaking countries. It could mean Rose Monday, but some people think the name is a corruption of 'Rasenmontag', from 'rasen' - to race or dash along. Another way to put it is - this is Mad Monday.


In Germany, especially the Rhineland, today is the highlight of the pre-Lent 'Karneval' season (which started in November). Many cities have big carnival parades today, often making fun of public figures. This float (from 2006) in Cologne has a motor-cow with a politician milking the motorist. .


Although most of the traditions for this Monday have died out in the UK it does have a variety of old names in English: Shrove Monday, Collop Monday, Merry Monday, Nickanan Night, Peasen or Hall Monday. If it's Collops Monday you should eat 'Collops' (slices of left-over bacon served with eggs). If it's Peasen Monday the dish is pea soup.


After today there's only one more day (Shrove Tuesday) before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the period of preparation for Easter, the most important Christian Festival of the year. I'm still undecided about how to use Lent this year. I'm weighing up these possibilites:
  • give up
  • give away
  • take up
  • take in
  • start
  • stop
More of that tomorrow. I'm off to have fun. Happy Mad Monday to you.

Comments

  1. Wow, who knew? I've altered my plans for the day accordingly. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy Mad Monday to you 'Penelopepiscopal'.

    ReplyDelete

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