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Düsseldorf Karneval 2011 – “Jebuddelt, jebaggert, jebützt”

Now that Christmas and New Year are over, the Germans are starting to look forward to Karneval. Karneval is all about drinking. Of course technically speaking, we are in the Karneval season already. It began on November 11th last year with the Hoppeditz Erwachen session. The start of Karneval involves much drinking. This is when the “Hoppeditz” – the chief fool – claims power and the Fünfte Jahreszeit (fifth season, ie the silly season) starts. The motto of this year’s Karneval in Düsseldorf is: “Jebuddelt, jebaggert, jebützt” – local dialect meaning, “dug, bulldozed and plastered.” (edit: apparently jebützt means kissed – more on this in the comments). Don’t ask me to make sense of it… unusually for the Germans, nothing at Karneval makes any sense. Not surprising really, considering how much drinking is involved.

From November to the start of the pre-Lent festivities, nothing much happens outside of the actual Karneval Verein (the organising club who stage the Karneval celebrations each year). They hold sessions (these involve much drink, silly hats, comedy and song) and meanwhile everyone else gets on with their normal lives.

Then on Altweiberfastnacht – March 3rd this year – the Altweiber… the old women of the town, in hideous fancy dress, will storm the town hall led by the Hoppeditz, evict and emasculate the mayor and install their Karneval Prinz in power for the duration of Karneval. Hoppeditz and the Prinz will give a speech from the balcony of the town hall to the Alterweiber and other fools in the square below. Then everyone will get enormously drunk for five days.

Antennedüsseldorf via flickr

The Hoppeditz arrives to oust the mayor

by antenneduesseldorf via Flickr

Hoppeditz Erwachen - meet the new mayor!

by antennedüsseldorf via flickr

Düsseldorfers who at other times of the year are pretty sensible

Karneval’s highpoint is Rosenmontag, when there is a huge Karneval procession through the streets with elaborate floats, often with witty political messages.

Did I mention the drinking?

 

For more about German Karneval traditions, see my post over at Birds on the Blog:

John F. Kennedy, doughnuts and some very messy Germans

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Things I’m looking forward to in Germany in 2011

2011 promises to be a fun year in Germany.

For a start, Düsseldorf will be playing host to the Eurovision song contest in May. Although the tickets for the main event sold out almost instantly, a whole programme of events is scheduled around the competition and there will be the beloved “public viewing” areas where those who couldn’t get tickets can watch together from the comfort of the biergarten. Those of us who dare to wear our country’s colours can expect a jocular ribbing from the locals when the inevitable “nul points” happens.

Düsseldorf 2011

Then in June and July there’s the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.  Less of an all-encompassing national party than the men’s version in 2006, but nontheless a fabulous event with many matches in various parts of the country. And England will be there! Yay!

There’s still every chance of getting tickets to games, and of course the public viewing opportunities should be good too. Oooh! More beer! I wonder where I put my vuvuzela….

football

For the more highbrow, there are some fabulous art exhibitions coming up in 2011.  I’ve got my eye on the Jan Vermeer exhibition in Munich in which opens on 17. March at the Alte Pinakothek.  Should be a nice peaceful antedote to the excesses of Karneval the week before.

Before that though, there’s the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at the Ludwiggalerie in Schloß Oberhausen which opens on January 23 and runs to May 1. Great stuff – Kerpow…BANG!
The clear highlight of the year though is definitely going to be the Faces of the Renaissance exhibition at the Bode Museum in Berlin which starts on August 26 and runs to November 20. This is an event where the big museums of the world have got together to create a show of some of their most valuable Italian portraits.  Lippi, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci will all be attending. And so will I, of course.
Anyone know of any other major events coming up this year?

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The same procedure as every year

It seems as though every New Year spent in Germany follows the same pattern. This year though, there was one major difference. Instead of writing about Dinner for One, Bleigiessen and fireworks here, I posted about it on Birds on the Blog, where I also have a column. You can catch up with my New Year’s Eve experiences there.

New Year in Germany

Other seasonal posts I have written there include:

A Small Christmas Miracle

German Stollen – The Cheat’s Version

Grogs, Nogs and Glühweins – The Best German Christmas Drinks

 

 

 

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So what do dachshunds do in this weather, huh?

I’ve been watching the cats struggling through the snow (and we have had plenty of new snow overnight), and I am yet again struck by the sheer impracticality of those Germans who choose to keep a dachshund as a pet.

Not too bad under the trees...

If you only have the odd inch or two of snow it’s not too bad.  For a cat that’s sort of ankle-deep. For a dachshund that’s already over the knees.

I'm getting ice in my armpits Mum!

But we’re talking serious snow here… well up to a cat’s shoulders. So what do dachshunds do? Tunnel through it?

 

 

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Blogging away from home

I just wanted to point regular readers here to Birds on the Blog where I have signed up as one of the team of regular bloggers. My first piece is out over there. Obviously this will not affect Planet Germany.

Working on a Different Planet

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