Carnival times in Germany based on the Easter calendar, are From Feb. 11-13th, so watch out for silly people in costumes.
Clowns seem to be the favorite object to celebrate carnival, as sites of them have been spotted in store windows and on private homes.
From what I have gathered, carnival time came to the Rhineland by way of France, which came there by way of Italy and other European countries. It is primary a Catholic festive season which occurs immediately before lent.
Carnival involves a public parade that combines elements of a circus, and a street party.
With all the clowns I’ve seen around Bingen, I can tell it’s a popular time for people to escape from everyday life.
Today, I learned more about the Rhineland saint, Hildegard Geburtsort. Hildegard was born the tenth child of nobles Hildebert and Mechthild of Ranconian high nobility in 1098.
“Say and write what is in your heart,” was God given advice she felt she had received.
Hildegard took that vision to heart and was considered a visionary, a writer of books, music and plays, and was sought throughout Europe for advice.
I finally got inside the museum and found the history of Hildegard posted on boards and written in English, as well German.
After viewing the museum, I went to a restaurant which served typical German food. I sat at a table in the front room, next to the smoking room. While it was reserved for smokers, I didn’t escape the smell of cigarette smoke that escaped from the room, and when I arrived back to my room, I had to hang up my coat near a window to get rid of the smell. Ugh!
But the food and local wine was delicious, so I traded one dislike for an extreme like.
Speaking of exchanging dislikes for likes, reminds me of the conversation I had with Michael, the twenty-two year old owner of this hotel. He spent a good part of his childhood in Texas with an American father and German mother.
We talked about how World War II still holds modern Germany captive for the devastation it had on Germany and the rest of the world.
“When I was in school in America, people would call me such names as Hitler’s son.” Teachers, he thought, should have told them to stop calling him names and referring to the war, as though he had something to do with it. Instead the teachers used the comments as a teaching moment about WWII.
Michael said people should stop blaming present day Germany. “My generation didn’t cause the war. We are not responsible for it, and people should not blame us,” said Michael.
I have mixed feelings about this because part of me thinks we should teach children what happened so it doesn’t happen again, while I also agree that what is behind us is best left there.
I look around at what Germany has done since the war, and it makes me proud to see that contrition is on-going. There are countless ways Germany has paid for the crimes of WWII, even though, the war was over in the late 40s.
Right now, it is obvious, that Germany is one of the most successful European countries.
So, perhaps Michael and his generation has a point. They should not be held responsible for crimes of World War II. Look what they are doing now.