Wolfach Carnival

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The city of Wolfach in the Black Forest is one of the most traditional strongholds of the Swabian-Alemannic Carnival . Because only in a few places can you find such a variety of Carnival customs.

Course of the Wolfach Carnival

No less than twelve parades move through Wolfach during Shrove Tuesday. The beginning of the street carnival is marked by the “carnival calls” on the Wednesday before Ash Wednesday at 7 pm, when the “almost seven-day festival” opens. On Dirty Thursday, Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday,Elfemessen ” take place at 10:30 am . These are parades, in which, in addition to the traditional carnival figures, free groups also take part, glossing over local events of the past year. Then it goes to the foolish morning pint in one of the inns. Since 1993, on Dirty Thursday, the fools have already met at 9 a.m. at the fountain of fools to move to elementary and secondary school for the exemption of pupils; then they go back to town for the first fair with a small parade. Coffee aunts and drummers wander around town on Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday afternoons and then meet for a leisurely coffee break. On Saturday evening, the fools' guild organizes the guild ball in the town's bars.

Well run

Rose Monday, called "Schellenmöntig" [Schellemêndig] in Wolfach, begins before the sun breaks with the Wohlauf , when hundreds of white-clad fools gather in front of the castle gate. At exactly 5:30 a.m. there is a hellish riot of horns, whistles, trombones, tin lids, steel bottles and bells. On a bed in the middle of this noisy gathering is the bedside singer, dressed in a nightgown. This bed is pulled through the city in a cart, which stops at the twelve stations where the city night watchman used to sing his song. The pop singer begins to sing:

Well run! Well run! / You fools hear, hear and know: / The day of fools has arisen. / The day is starting to shine / De 'Narro like de' G'scheiten. / The day of fools that never fails'; / Wish everyone 'Narro' e 'have a good day!

The original lyrics, which were sung until the early 1970s, read:

Well run! Well run! / In the name of the Lord Entechrist [Antichrist] / The Narrotag has appeared. / The day begins to shine / De 'Narre' like de 'G'scheiten, / The fool day that never fails' / Wish all' Narre 'e' good day!

The chant, which is repeated at all waypoints, ends again in a loud roar of fools.

Further course

In the afternoon, the participants of the festival introduce themselves to the parade, which is performed on a stage in front of the town hall. The musical play “Die Weibermühle von Tripstrill” by Georg Anton Bredelin (1752–1814) is performed again and again.

On Shrove Tuesday, there is the big children's parade in the afternoon, followed by the distribution of sausages and pretzels to the children, followed by the children's ball and in the evening the nasal procession , one of the highlights of the Wolfach Carnival.

As a conclusion, the wallet laundering takes place on Ash Wednesday .

The Free Fools Guild Wolfach

Despite its extensive program, the Free Fools Guild Wolfach is not a registered association. Everyone can take part in the carnival as part of the traditional customs as they wish, without having to join an association or pay a membership fee beforehand. The carnival is organized by the small jester's council, which consists of the jester's father and the jester's council, each responsible for a specific area: the deputy jester's father, secretary (secretary), 1st and 2nd treasurer (treasurer), 1st and 2nd chamberlain ( Supervisor of the Chamber of Fools), technician, organizer (procurement of materials and utensils), economic organizer (catering) and festival director. Depending on their interests, individual fools' councils sometimes also take on functions that go beyond their actual task. The body is elected by the Great Council of Fools, which is made up of the former Fools' Councils, who have been awarded the Wohlauforden, and the representatives of the various groups within the Fool's Guild. It meets every year in May and October to approve and monitor the work of the Little Fools' Council. The resolutions are presented to the public in the fools' meetings in the pre-Fasch time.

The fools guild was first mentioned in 1816.

The Wolfach carnival figures

Foolish bearers with larvae

The yellow-blue bell jar

Yellow-blue Schellenhansel and black Röslehansel when moving

In 1934 twelve new Schellenhansel were created, based on historical models, but in the Wolfach city colors of yellow and blue. In memory of the old Spättlehansel, they were given three rows of spikes on each of their sleeves and legs. The larva was created based on a model from the 18th century. Schellenhansel spreads his well-intentioned blows with a yellow and blue striped wooden cot. The Hansel's back is adorned with a capital "W", the chest with a living room with a stable lantern painted on a blue diamond as a reminiscence of the most famous Wolfach carnival custom.

Nutshell Hansel

Nutshell hansel with stretching scissors

According to oral tradition, there was a Hansel in Wolfach around 1850 with a wooden larva and a rabbit made of green fabric that was sewn with nutshell halves. At the suggestion of J. Krausbeck, new nutshell hansel was created for the first time for the 1960s carnival, equipped with straw shoes and a Saubloder. The cowl that covers the head is featherless and adorned with a bird of prey feather. Stretching scissors, of which there is an old copy in the local history museum, were added to the Hansel's equipment in 1963 as a neck instrument.

Mealworm Hansel

Mealworm Hansel

The all white mealworm Hansel was created for the 1885 festival "Circus with clowns, animals and acrobats". Originally they did not carry a wooden larva, but rubbed their face with a bacon rind and blew into a flour drawer, and the make-up was done. In 1987 the Hansel was slightly modified.


Red Röslehansel with confetti syringe

Parts of a red Röslehansel from the 19th century have been preserved in the Krausbeck family's room of fools. In 1962 they served as a model for the redesign of this courtly fool figure, which appeared again in public for the first time at the 1963 Carnival and whose linen robe and straw shoes are decorated with red rosettes made of fabric, in the middle of which sits a bell.

In contrast to the past, there is no more water in the syringes of the Rösle, as the Hansel is called for short, but confetti.

Striped hansel

The revival of the striped hansel , which was very popular until the First World War , began in 1976, initially with the single figure of the Guller rider. An old Hansel from around 1865 made of striped barchent served as a model . From 1981 onwards there were more copies of this type, the colors of which are not standardized; he wears black low shoes and two different colored knee socks to match the respective stripes. A sow bloder serves him as a neck instrument. The larvae based on an old model in the local history museum have a painted mustache and a carved row of teeth as a special feature.


The Spättlehansel, whose hat is sewn with hundreds of Spättle, was quite popular until the First World War, but then disappeared from the foolish scene. In 1996 the Hansel was revived. The various colors of the approximately 1000 fabric spattles correspond to the colors of the other Wolfacher Hansel, the sleeves and stockings are solid red, the shoes are black. A tin larva with a movable lower jaw from the local history museum served as a model for the larva.

Alde Rungunkeln and Müller

The term Rungunkel is a widespread mockery and joke name for old women. In 1958, after a long development period, a wooden larva and the Häs der Rungunkeln were created. They wear a peter made of small patterned fabric, which is rounded at the back based on the Fürstenberg costume, dark gloves, a blue striped or checked apron, a dark skirt, white lace panties, black and red striped wool socks and straw shoes and, according to the carnival slogan, a large one wooden wooden spoon.

In memory of Bredelin's game, the Rungunkeln have been taking a mobile old woman's mill with them to the carnival parades since 1965.


  • Frank Schrader: The Wolfach Carnival and its characters . 3. Edition. Self-published, Wolfach 2011 ( online )

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz Disch: Chronicle of the City of Wolfach, Karlsruhe 1920; P. 443 (no verbatim quotation; text adapted)

Web links

Commons : Fasnet in Wolfach  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files