With Helau and Alaaf: The street carnival is back

Tens of thousands celebrate the beginning of the carnival in the Rhenish strongholds on Weiberfastnacht.

With Helau and Alaaf: The street carnival is back

Tens of thousands celebrate the beginning of the carnival in the Rhenish strongholds on Weiberfastnacht. Especially in difficult times it is important "to be able to switch off for a few hours", says NRW Interior Minister Reul. However, those who riot must face the consequences.

The carnival is celebrating its comeback: the street carnival has begun in the strongholds of foolish cheerfulness - for the first time again without Corona requirements. In Cologne, the triumvirate of prince, farmer and maiden released the "Jecken" on Thursday. In Düsseldorf, the "Möhnen" captured the mayor. The washerwomen attacked in Bonn. This tradition goes back to an early women's movement: in the 19th century, the Beuel washerwomen resisted patriarchy, male dominance and the associated exploitation of women.

Especially in Cologne, tens of thousands of revelers from abroad were expected. The police were there with more than 2000 officers on duty. NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul announced that the police would take consistent action against harassment and assault: "Everyone should know when they've had enough Kölsch." The CDU politician said that this year was certainly a special carnival: war, inflation and money worries would burden many people. "I think it's all the more important that there are days when you can switch off for a few hours and put your worries aside," Reul told the "Stadt-Anzeiger".

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker called for generous help for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. "Let's stand together - across borders!" appealed the non-party politician. In Cologne it had on 11.11. at the beginning of the new carnival session there was already a huge rush. This time the city had set up, among other things, 550 mobile toilets, 140 urinals, 20 urinal drains and eleven toilet trucks. Head of the public order office, Athene Hammerich, threatened: "The security service will consistently punish wild urination."

In Rhineland-Palatinate, too, the fools took over command in many towns. But ties are hardly ever cut off, said the chairwoman of the Möhnen Club in Mülheim-Kärlich, north of Koblenz, Kornelia Punstein: "Unfortunately, this custom is being lost. Which man still wears a tie today?"

The Swabian-Alemannic Fastnacht began in Baden-Württemberg. In Constance, the "Blätzlebuebe" went through the streets early in the morning to wake up the residents. In many communities, students were taken out of class and town halls were stormed. The mayors had to symbolically hand over their keys - until Ash Wednesday the fools are in charge. In the evening in Stockach in the Konstanz district, the FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki was to answer before the "fool's court".

The original meaning of carnival from the Middle Ages is to turn the world upside down for a few days and swap roles: nuns were allowed to misbehave, servants were allowed to scold their masters. However, large parts of Germany turned out to be unsuitable for carnival - and that has remained the case: surveys show again and again that the foolish goings-on leave the majority of people cold.