Fasching Munich

Dance of the Market Women

The most famous event of Fasching in Munich is the Dance of the Market Women (Tanz der Marktweiber) at Viktualienmarkt.

Munich is definitely not a carnival stronghold and activities pale compared to other German cities like Cologne or Mainz.

But the dancing market women at Viktualienmarket are an attraction you definitely shouldn't miss!

The market women who run the food stalls during the rest of the year dress up and present a spectacular show dance for the audience. They practice weeks in advance the current year's show and virtually everyone in Munich comes to see. It's a whole lot of fun.

The event takes place on Shrove Tuesday (Faschingsdienstag) at 11 a.m. But there's even more to it. At 10.30 a.m. the official opening is done by the Prince and Princess of Narhalla.

Narhalla is the Kingdom of fools and exists only during Fasching. Every year a Prince and a Princess are elected, who represent the Fasching / Carnival of the respective city and take part in many events.

Off course they also bring their royal household with them and put on a carnival dance. Once the prince and princess have opened the Tanz der Marktweiber, our mayor Christian Ude and the manager of the Viktualienmarket stalls greet the visitors.

If you want to watch the market women dancing, you need to come early to find a good spot. Every year it gets more crowded and people flock here as early as 8 a.m. to secure the best places. As it's outside, it might be cold, so bring along a jacket and maybe a blanket to sit down (no seats available) during the waiting time.

After the dance of the market women, there's music and party until late in the afternoon. Everyone is welcome to celebrate, with bubbly wine the drink of choice for those involved in the festivities and with it being a celebration; many revellers are decked out in costumes and fancy dress suitable for the occasion.

Have a look at this video, to see how much fun everyone is having:

Just one word of warning though: this is not a place to bring your children. Kids get scared with the crowd and the later the day, the more alcohol is flowing. Many people start getting drunk and don't behave kids-friendly.

More Munich Festivals