Schembart Carnival

Schembart Carnival

The Schembart Carnival was popular in Nuremberg, Germany in the 15th century before it ended in 1539 due to a the complaints of a town dignitary. The carnival features costumed men with bearded masks carved of wood, carrying on and generally acting foolishly. The name shembart is German for 'maskbeard'. Along with music, song, food and drink, the carnival featured speakers who poked fun at politicians, persons of power, and policies of the government. The carnival was revived in 1974.

An account of the Schembart Carnivals can be found in the book Schembartbuch (maskbeardbook) which is a manuscript compiled over some years that includes the period of 1449 to 1530. It has colored drawings of the costumed men and of festivities, and also has the names of participants, descriptions of masks and a recording of the better carnival events. It now resides in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nurenberg.

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