24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 –
First Day of Carnival, Task 1:
Carnival – including its first day in the Rhine Valley (Nov. 11; officially beginning at 11:11 AM sharp) – is essentially one big party; fuelled, wherever in the world it is celebrated, by traditional local food / snacks and drinks. In the Rhineland, these include special local varieties of potato pancakes / latkes (Reibekuchen or, in the local dialect, “Riefkooche”) and donuts (Krapfen) as well as, of course, the local brew (Kölsch). Also, while there are typically no parades on Nov. 11, the Rhineland Carnival finishes – in February / March, immediately preceding Lent and at the same time as the rest of the world has its versions of Carnival – with a series of huge parades featuring music bands, dance companies, and floats (often with supersized papier mâché figurines satirizing recent political or otherwise significant events or public figures). From atop those floats, the crowd of onlookers are showered with bound bouquets (“Strüssche”), caramel candy (“Kamelle”), chocolate, and other sweets by the bucketful.
So: Post a picture of your Carnival meal of potato pancakes / latkes or donuts and your local brew of choice (alcoholic or non). Caramel candy or chocolate for dessert and flowers as table decoration are optional.
Here’s my “First Day of Carnival” dinner:
Potato pancakes, donut for dessert, and another (in this case: non-alcoholic) local brew: “Fassbrause” — lemonade (strictly not “soda”) made from alcohol-free beer.
(Strictly speaking, the donuts you’re supposed to be having are Berliner — but I felt more like the other kind, so there!)