Woman’s Carnival Day in Dusseldorf

As I’ve mentioned before, Dusseldorf is one of the best cities to celebrate carnival in Germany. Carnival, which we also call the 5th season, actually starts in November: The 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour and 11th minute. But the real highlight of the carnival season follows in February during the final weekend. This weekend includes the “Woman’s Carnival Day” which has a long tradition in the Rhenish area.

Today, I’d like to tell you more about the Woman’s Carnival Day, the day’s traditions and how the day usually proceed.

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This year, the Woman’s Carnival Day takes place on February 4th, and traditionally starts at 11:11 am. Although it is not a bank holiday, many people leave work at 11:11am, but not before a few pranks are played!  One of the most traditional pranks allows women to cut off the ties of their male counterparts.  To make up for the damage, the women often give the men a peck on the cheek.

Of course, on Woman’s Carnival Day, even the General Manager of Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel is not safe!  The attack on Cyrus Heydarian is always a secret and requires both brazen courage and stealth planning.  There is always a question of who will make this bold move!  Last year, it was our daring Marketing Manager,  Sina Hoekstra.  She bravely took the golden scissors, went to his office and snipped it away!  Fortunately, Cyrus was prepared and was sure to wear an old tie that day!

I can’t wait for February 4th this year, to see who will make the move.  Sorry Cyrus, but tradition is tradition!

 

Altweiber in Düsseldorf

Wie ich Euch bereits erzählt habe, ist Düsseldorf eine der besten Städte in Deutschland, um Karneval zu feiern. Karneval, oder wie wir es auch nennen, die 5. Jahreszeit, startet eigentlich im November: Am 11.11. um 11:11 Uhr. Aber das eigentliche Highlight des Karnevals folgt tatsächlich im Februar, am finalen Wochenende. Dieses Wochenende umfasst neben dem Rosenmontag auch Altweiber. Altweiber findet am Donnerstag vor Rosenmontag statt und blickt auf eine lange Tradition im Rheinland zurück.

Heute möchte ich Euch einwenig mehr über das Altweiber-Fest erzählen, über die Tradition dieses Tages und wie er normalerweise abläuft.

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In diesem Jahr findet Altweiber am 4. Februar statt und wird ebenfalls traditionell um 11:11 Uhr eingeläutet. Obwohl dieser Tag eigentlich kein gesetzlicher Feiertag ist, beenden die meisten um 11:11 Uhr ihren Arbeitstag – aber nicht ohne noch ein paar Streiche zu spielen! Der bekannteste Streich an diesem Tag erlaubt es Frauen, ihren männlichen Arbeitskollegen die Kravatten abzuschneiden. Als Entschädigung bekommen sie dafür einen Kuss von den Frauen auf die Wange.

Natürlich ist an einem solchen Tag auch der Direktor vom Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel nicht sicher vor diesen Streichen! Der Überfall auf Cyrus Heydarian ist immer streng geheim und bedarf großen Mut und genauste Planung. Jedes Jahr stellt sich die Frage, wer wohl den Kravatten-Streich übernehmen wird. Letztes Jahr war unsere Marketing Managerin Sina Hoekstra die mutige Person. Sie machte kurzen Prozess: Nahm die goldene Schere, ging selbstbewusst in das Büro und schnitt die Kravatte von unserem Direktor kurzerhand ab! Zum Glück war Cyrus vorbereitet und trug an diesem Tag eine alte Kravatte.

Ich freue mich schon auf das diesjährige Altweiber-Fest am 4. Februar und bin gespannt, wer sich in diesem Jahr traut. Tut mit leid Cyrus, aber Tradition ist Tradition!

Nothing sweeter than Lucian Carnival!

I always get very excited to experience the wonderful festivities that Saint Lucia has to offer in the month of July.  This time of year, there are a lot more flights landing as many visitors come to the island for one of the biggest events of the year.  Today, whilst walking near the Castries Market, this lovely lady named Nora, came up to me and asked for directions to the nearest mall.  In conversation with her, I learnt more about why she decided to  visit this lovely island.  Nora spoke of the beautiful people and the lush green forests that painted the hillsides but then she paused and I noticed this fire and excitement in her eyes as she exclaimed, “I’m here because of the Lucian Carnival!”


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The Saint Lucian Carnival or Lucian Cah-na-val as some would call it, is a festive time of year that brings together people from all around the island to showcase a colorful history with costumes and dance.  Saint Lucia won its independence in 1979 and since then, discovering new aspects of his history can be seen in the various carnival efforts of its people.  It is amazing to witness such a spectacular showcase and even more interesting to learn that every year around the month of July, people come to Saint Lucia just to see the parade.  My friends and I make it our duty to attend every single event surrounding this festival.  From the Annual Carnival Queen Show to the Parade of the Bands, we take pride in engaging in activities that are part of the island’s wide culture.   This year, I am very anxious to put on my Carnival Costumes as I join the parade with over twenty thousand participants.

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Carnival in Saint Lucia is the one event that you would not want to miss.  If there was ever a time that you wished to see the island in full color then I strongly recommend you visiting around the month of July.  With the Carnival Queen show happening very soon, I can’t wait to see more of  Saint Lucia’s lovely culture and it’s people.  

Breidenbacher Hof’s Hoppeditz Cocktail

It is only February, but I am already looking forward to March 3rd and Düsseldorf’s beloved Rose Monday.  Do you remember what I told you about the Hoppeditz last year?  He is the carnival mascot, who starts the season by waking up and climbing out of a mustard jar.  You can read more about him HERE.

This year will be extra exciting, because Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel is the official home of the royal carnival couple!  It is the royal carnival couple’s duty to represent the carnival making various public appearances and conducting interviews to spread awareness and the spirit of the festive traditions.  I met Prince Michael I. and Venetia Pia last week and it was so much fun to welcome them to our hotel.  Believe it or not, but our General Manager Cyrus Heydarian and I even received special carnival medals as a reward for our support and service!

In celebration, our bartenders at Capella Bar created a new cocktail, The “Hoppeditz.”  It has quickly become a favorite at the hotel.  I highly recommend stopping by the hotel to try it.  Don’t worry if you can’t make it, I’ve included the recipe below for you to recreate at home.

Have fun, good luck and Helau!

Hoppeditz-cocktail

Hoppeditz Cocktail

Ingredients:
–  2cl pink grapefruit juice
–  1cl ginger liqueur
–  1cl vanilla syrup
–  Sparkling wine to top off
–  1 diced kumquat and mint leaves for garnish

Preparation:
The preparation is very easy.  First put all ingredients into a white wine glass (except for the sparkling wine).  Add a diced kumquat and some leaves of mint.  Then just fill it up with the sparkling wine and enjoy.  Perfect for an evening of clowning around!

 

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Hoppeditz Cocktail Im Breidenbacher Hof

Es ist erst Februar, aber ich freue mich bereits jetzt auf den 3. März, denn dann findet Düsseldorfs beliebter Rosenmontagszug statt.  Erinnert ihr euch an meinen Beitrag über den Hoppeditz vom vergangenen Jahr?  Er ist das Karnevalsmaskottchen und läutet jedes Jahr die Karnevalssaison ein, indem er aus einem Senfglas steigt.  Hier findet ihr noch einmal DIE GANZE GESCHICHTE.

Dieses Jahr spielt der Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel eine ganz besondere Rolle während der fünften Jahreszeit, da wir die offizielle Hofburg des Düsseldorfer Prinzenpaares sind!  Die beiden repräsentieren diese Tradition während der gesamten Session.  Dies bedeutet unter anderem zahlreiche öffentliche Auftritte und Interviews mit den Medien.  Ich durfte Prinz Michael I. und Venetia Pia in der vergangenen Woche treffen und habe mich sehr gefreut, sie bei uns begrüßen zu dürfen.  Und ob ihr es glaubt oder nicht, unser Hoteldirektor Cyrus Heydarian und ich haben sogar Karnevalsorden für unsere Fürsorge und Unterstützung erhalten!

Sogar unser Bar Team ist in Karnevalsstimmung und hat für den feierlichen Anlass unseren “Hoppeditz” kreiert, der mittlerweile zu den beliebtesten Cocktails in unserer Capella Bar gehört.  Ihr solltet vorbeischauen, um ihn zu probieren.  Falls ihr es aus zeitlichen Engpässen nicht schafft, habe ich euch das Rezept für einen Selbstversuch in der heimischen Bar beigefügt.

Viel Spaß, Glück und Helau!

Hoppeditz-cocktail

Hoppeditz Cocktail

Zutaten:
– 2cl Pink Grapefruit Saft
–  1cl Ingwerlikör
–  1cl Vanillesirup
–  Sekt zum Auffüllen
–  1 gewürfelte Kumquat und Minzblätter zum Dekorieren

Zubereitung:
Die Zubereitung ist sehr einfach.  Zuerst alle flüssigen Zutaten, bis auf den Sekt, in ein Weißweinglas geben.  Die gewürfelte Kumquat und die Minzblätter  ebenfalls dazugeben.  Dann mit Sekt auffüllen und genießen.  Der perfekte Cocktail für einen närrischen Abend!

Ich hoffe, er schmeckt euch genauso gut wie mir!

The Hoppeditz Comes To Dusseldorf’s Carnival

It’s the final countdown: The end of the “fifth season” will be celebrated on February 11th.  Last year at this time, I told you what carnival is about and how we celebrate it in Düsseldorf.  This time, I’d like to tell you about our carnival mascot: the Hoppeditz.

Every year, on November 11th at 11:11 am the Hoppeditz, a jester of sorts, wakes up and drops out of a mustard pot.  Why a mustard pot?  Well, because Dusseldorf is famous for its mustard!  The Hoppeditz then begins the carnival season with a speech in which he roasts the city of Dusseldorf and our mayor.  It is always a good laugh and the mayor always enjoys playing along.  From there, the Hoppeditz acts as a sort of master of ceremonies throughout the Fifth Season, partaking in the many Carnival related festivities.

The Hoppeditz has been a central figure here in Dusseldorf and in 1841 a monument was built in his honor.   At the unveiling of the monument 200 white pigeons were released.  Attached to them a message of Carnival was sent out to the world.  The unveiling resulted in such a celebration that fireworks were set off and residents partied throughout the night.

Hoppeditz

The monument existed only until 1860.  There was a shift in attitudes and no longer was it considered appropriate for public.  During that time carnival and the Hoppeditz was celebrated behind closed doors. Thankfully, in 1937 the public opinion once again shifted.  For the first time carnival was celebrated at the Burgplatz and it continues like this today.  We also have a new monument, erected in 2008 to commemorate the beloved Hoppeditz.

Unfortunately, the Hoppeditz only has a short lifespan.  On Ash Wednesday he is carried to his “grave” in a funeral procession that signifies the start of Lent.  But there is no need for tears, as he will return to Dusseldorf again at the start of the next Carnival season.

If you have an opportunity to partake in the Carnival events this year – take it!   It is truly one of the most exciting and amusing times in Dusseldorf.