Languages@Muhlenberg.edu
Newsletter 2005
¡Carnaval! Fastnacht! Carnevale! Mardi Gras!
The French Club opened the spring semester with its second annual Mardi Gras crêpe sale. The crêpes were all made and sold by members of Le cercle français. Students were very pleased and grateful for the help they received, and the sale was a huge success, attracting people from all corners of our campus through the aroma of freshly heated crêpes and their delicious toppings. These tastes and smells would be just a prelude to the party that followed the evening of Mardi Gras itself…


Fastnacht: Not Just a Donut!
On Tuesday, February 8th, the foreign language department gathered in the ML Underground to celebrate Fastnacht. There was food, drink and fun, as each separate language was well represented. Representatives from each language class gave presentations about the festivities around the world.

Professor Marita Reeder encouraged her students to dress for Fastnacht… and many joined her in doing so!

In Germany, the people all along the Rhine and in Bavaria take months to celebrate the occasion. For numerous weeks before Lent, the Germans enjoy traditional festivities. Only days before Lent begins, the celebration culminates in a giant event, complete with parades and masquerade balls.
Prior to the departmental party, Professor Reeder told our class about the traditional festivities and merry-making in Germany. Twice she came to class in costume to get us in the mood and to give us ideas about what to wear for Fastnacht, Carneval, or Fasching… a festival of many names and much tradition.
--Jennifer Fry, ‘08

 

Many Thanks!

Carnaval is the second collaborative event of the Chapel and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Like the fall Día de los Muertos, or Mexican Day of the Dead / All Souls’ Day, Carnaval blends a spiritual base with traditions intimately woven into popular culture. In the Christian calendar, Carnevale marks a final moment of abandon, the final chance to eat, drink, and make merry before the solemn time of reflection that is Lent. Its roots are much older, going back at least as far as the ancient Roman festivities known as Saturnalia, Lupercalia, and Bacchanalia that were celebrated to alleviate the doldrums of winter and as propitiatory ceremonies for the upcoming rebirth of nature. We thank Chaplain Peter Bredlau for his generous and ongoing support of our cultural events!