Tag Archives: rosenmontag

Rosenmontag in the Rhineland – parades and politics

We’re in the middle of the fifth season here in the Rhineland. The silly season. Karneval season.

The normally sensible and dare I say, somewhat dull members of the local community will be dressed in odd uniforms, wigs, feathered hats and face paint for the next few days as they go about their normal business or drink in the local pubs.

Karneval

In normal life he's probably a tax inspector

Karneval is now building up to Rosenmontag – the day of the big processions. In the Rhineland there is always a political dimension to the parades. Fabulous floats drive through the streets with oversized 3D caricatures of local, national and international politicians. This year I think we can confidently expect Mr. zu Guttenberg and his cut-and-paste doctoral thesis to feature prominently.

Rhineland Karneval

Serious politics requires a fool's commentary

I also think some of the previous years’ ideas could well be reused…the Hoppeditz clearly didn’t manage to get much changed last time he was (briefly) in power!

Rhineland Karneval

Milking the motorist

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Filed under About Germany, German festivals, Life in Germany

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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Germans are all boring

They have a sense of fun deficit.  They take themselves way too seriously.  They lack spontaneity.  They never get the joke, because they don’t have a sense of humour…

So here is a short clip of some very boring Germans taking themselves extremely seriously at this time of year.

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Filed under German festivals, German video