Swabian-Alemannic carnival (Intangible Heritage)

The Swabian-Alemannic carnival, also known as "Fasnet" in the Swabian Alb, is celebrated every year in numerous communities in Baden-Württemberg. It is not possible to speak of a standardised carnival celebration, as many different local customs and rituals have developed. There are over 1000 local associations and carnival guilds in south-western Germany and the tradition of carnival is still actively cultivated by many people in the region today. In 2014, it was added to the national list of intangible cultural heritage.

The first evidence of carnival in south-west Germany dates back to the 13th century. Originally, it was a feast before the beginning of Lent to use up perishable food. It was only later that entertainment elements such as dance, music and theatre were added. The elaborate costumes and masks carved from wood also only became part of this custom over time. Local masks and costumes can be seen, for example, at the Geopark Information Centre Museum Ehingen.

The Swabian-Alemannic carnival kicks off on 6 January, Epiphany. In the days that follow, various parades and events are organised by the carnival guilds, but the actual start of carnival is "dirty Thursday". On this day, the mayors are deposed, the children are released from school and the carnival trees are erected. This is followed by various carnival parades in which the carnival guilds present themselves. The carnival ends again on the night of “Aschermittwoch”.


  • Fasnet in der Stadt Schelklingen
    Swabian-Alemannic carnival (Intangible Heritage)