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CRAZY LONDON – German Carnival celebration at the Bavarian Beerhouse


German Carnival in London at the Bavarian Beerhouse, 190 City Road, Tube: Old Street

If you haven’t done the full-on 6 days Carnival party marathon in Germany yet, this might be a good introduction: German Carnival in London. A place where all the poor Germans that didn’t make it for the 5th season back home to traditionally scare away all the bad ghosts of the old year with drums and sticks and whatever makes noise or can join in the Schunkeln (swaying left and right with linked arms to the music) merriness and crazy dress-up custom of the German Carnival.

I’ve never been to the Bavarian Beerhouse before, most probably because I’m not Bavarian, I’m German and I don’t like Lederhosen, Sauerkraut and Eisbein, which is typically Bavarian. But of course the Bavarians are lovely people and if that what’s left of German culture outside of Germany, then I might as well join in for some good hearted nostalgia.

But the Bavarian Beerhouse was a great surprise, it’s nicely decorated, has the typical German folding tables with benches, a long bar counter and some more folding tables and benches to the back. It’s spacious enough to have some proper Polonaise (a festive walking dance, where everybody walks behind each other), as we should find out soon.

People were indeed dressed up and indeed they played German Carnival music. Well, you don’t need much more to get the Germans going! Soon everybody was dancing on the benches and tables, singing along and hugging each other.

I was amazed to see the variety of typical German drinks and foods they were serving. Our table invited with a beer barrel and Brezeln (or Pretzel as the harsh English pronunciation is).

It was fantastic to hear those old school songs and sing along with Germans you only just met. And the Germans did a good job getting everybody into party mood, as soon the Polonaise started and bystanders and spectators were grasped off the benches and encouraged to join in.

For the Germans this clearly was an awesome evening. When else do you hear these old tunes and can dress up really crazy and silly (Carneval is a different dress-up from Halloween). I for example went as ‘just out of the shower’ with bathrobe and towelturban!

But also several non-Germans I asked how they liked it (because obviously all the Germans totally liked it) answered ‘Yeah, great, and the people here are so friendly’. I think that sums up perfectly how most of the German Carneval partiers felt tonight at the Bavarian Beerhouse.

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