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Celebrating carnival: These rights have funkies

Carnival: what funnies need to know

Whether Carnival, Mardi Gras or Mardi Gras - the foolish days are just around the corner and with it the questions for many carnivalists: Do I actually have a right to get free time on the carnival days? Can I appear at work disguised? And are there any restrictions on my carnival party? We provide an overview of your rights and obligations during the fifth season.

Entitlement to “work-free” at carnival?

When the go-ahead for the hustle and bustle is usually given at 11:11 a.m., for most employees it takes place during regular working hours. If you don't have flexible working hours, but don't want to miss the carnival parade or the carnival party, you can't just go blue. You are not entitled to an exemption for a carnival party or to attend a carnival parade.

Because: Rose Monday, Women's Carnival and Ash Wednesday are not public holidays even in carnival strongholds. If your employer has not expressly approved it, you may not simply interrupt your work to celebrate Carnival - otherwise you may receive a warning. The same applies, by the way, if you arrive at work the next day after a long carnival party, drunk.

Of course, in the interests of a good working atmosphere, it is desirable for employers to turn a blind eye during the carnival days - but you are not entitled to this. If there is no specific appointment with your supervisor, die-hard carnivalists only have the option of taking vacation or compensating for overtime.

It can look different in the carnival strongholds - some companies do not work between Weiberfastnacht and Ash Wednesday.

Carnival celebrations at work

How much Mardi Gras is allowed in the office can I appear at work in costumes? The answer: it depends. In principle, your employer can expect you to appear in the workplace in clothing that is customary in the industry. According to labor law, whether you are allowed to go to work in costume at Carnival depends on your job and your other dress code. In the carnival strongholds this is certainly seen more loosely - there a bank advisor is more likely to work with a clown nose. However, you are not entitled to a disguise at work.


Consumer advice center

Noise: exuberant atmosphere at the carnival party

People sang along, swayed and greeted each other with loud fools' calls - at carnival parties it can get louder. But there are clear noise protection rules for the fun celebration at home: According to the Noise Pollution Act, there is night time between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. During this time you must not exceed the volume in the room. If you celebrate the fifth season too loudly, your (perhaps not so carnival-enthusiastic) neighbors could call the police about disturbing the peace.

If you are planning a carnival party, it is best to speak to your neighbors a few days in advance. Even if many are more tolerant during the carnival season, you should at least go back to room volume from a later hour. In general, you and your guests are only allowed to celebrate in your own rooms and should be quiet in the stairwell, for example. So be careful that you and your guests do not go outside the door noisily.


At a carnival party at your home, you decide whether and where your foolish friends can smoke. This can be inside or on the balcony. But it is better not to send your carnivalists through the stairwell to the door all day long. If people keep going in and out, neighbors can rightly complain.

Gema license for carnival hits

With the right carnival hits, the fun time is twice as fun. But music is mostly protected by copyright. If you are planning a public celebration for Mardi Gras, you may be required to pay a fee whenever you play music that is subject to GEMA in public. The Society for Musical Performance and Mechanical Reproduction Rights (Gema) offers separate tariffs for carnivalists. You don't have to pay a license for your private party.

This content was created by the joint editorial team in cooperation with the consumer centers Hessen and Saarland for the network of consumer centers in Germany.