Karneval words

Learn some really useful German Karneval words!


Hi – I’m Max! I love going to visit my friends in Cologne and Düsseldorf to celebrate Karneval. We all dress up in fantastic costumes and take part in Karnevalsumzüge (Karneval parades). This year, I’m dressing up as a knight!

Karneval is celebrated mostly along the river Rhine in Germany. In the north it is called ‘Karneval’, and in the south it is known as ‘Fasching’. That’s why you will see some words with ‘Karneval’ in them and some with ‘Fasching’.

Would you like to celebrate Karneval? Here are some great words to help you become a true Karnevalsjeck (a ‘Karneval fool’ – it sounds rude, but that’s what people who celebrate Karneval call themselves!).

Karneval words

Deutsch English


Alaaf! (People shout this on Karneval parades. It means ‘Yippee!’, and is only used at Karneval time.)

das Karnevalskostüm / das Faschingskostüm

Karneval fancy dress

der Karnevalsumzug / der Faschingsumzug

Karneval parade

die Musik


der Karnevalsprinz / der Faschingsprinz

Karneval prince. (The Karneval prince is usually in charge of organising the Karneval celebrations.)

das Tanzmariechen / das Funkenmariechen

a female dancer in the Karneval celebrations

der Clown


die Kamelle