January - February

Hornschlittenrennen (sledge race on a traditional sledge)

A "Hornschlitten" is a traditional sledge which allowed the transportation of hay and wood down into the valley during winter times in earlier days. Today , mostly around carnival time, there are some spots in the Bavarian and Allgaeu Alps where people, sometimes in costumes, race down the hill and over big jumps.
Bavarian Championship of wooden sleigh racing, Tourist Information Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Tel.: +49 (0)8821  180700, Fax: +49 (0)8821  180755, E-Mail: tourist-info@gapa.de, www.garmisch-partenkirchen.de ; www.hornschlitten.de

Original Münchner Schäfflertanz (Barrel-Makers-Dance)

The Schäffler (barrel maker or cooper) are dancing through the streets accompanied by lively music, can only be seen every seven years (06.01. -05.03.2019).
The tradition of the Schäfflertanz dates back to the year 1517 when Munich was suffering the plague. Almost half of the city’s 20,000 inhabitants had succumbed to the dreaded disease. When the Plague abated, the Schäffler (coopers, or barrel-makers) journeymen, took it upon themselves to renew the sense of joie de vivre among the people of Munich by dancing through the streets with hoops wrapped in greens, accompanied by lively music.
The Schäfflertanz evolved into its present-day form about 130 years ago.

Fasching (Carnival)

Carnival in Bavaria begins in early January and ends at Shrove Tuesday. There are a lot of different traditions all over Bavaria. In some regions people wear old masks ("Larven") which make them look like demons and in processions the noisy crowd intends to drive out the winter. In other regions people wear costumes and ski down hills or take part in a "Hornschlittenrennen" as mentioned above.
The craziest days of Carnival are the final ones, when Munich invites everyone to join in the masquerading, singing, dancing and general revelry in the city center. One of the highlights of the Munich Carnival is the dance of the market women on the “Viktualienmarkt” on Shrove Tuesday.

Kipfenberger Carnival - "Fasenickl" image.enlarge
Kipfenberger Carnival - "Fasenickl" © Naturpark Altmühltal