Nothing sweeter than Lucian Carnival!

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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.  

La Paz Carnival

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The end of February marks the beginning of traditional carnival festivities in more than 200 of Mexico’s town and cities.  While some towns celebrate in small and uniquely traditional ways, others organize large and spectacular carnival festivities, which makes them a must see event.  Three of the most popular places to see the carnival in the country are Mazatlan, Veracruz and Cabo San Lucas’ neighbor town, La Paz.  I am already making my plans to attend, and if you are in Baja between February 27 and March 4, I recommend you to visit as well!

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The first La Paz Carnival (we call it Carnaval La Paz) was organized in 1898, making it one of the oldest in the country.  The carnival is a week long party on the main seaside street Malecon, where the Sea of Cortez makes a beautiful backdrop to all the festivities.  The carnival usually starts with the condemning of an effigy called mal humor (bad mood) and the electing of a Carnival Queen and a King of Happiness.  There are fun parades with floats, street parties and street vendors (you must try their churros filled with caramel), and in the evenings there are concerts by popular Mexican musicians with festivities that go on until early morning hours.  Costumes worn by participants are very creative and vary each year, and I can’t wait to see what people will come up with this year.

Carnival in Mexico ends on Mardi Gras, or Martes de Carnaval, when another effigy Juan Carnaval is burned; he represents all the wanton revelry associated with the festivities.  This marks the end of the debauchery and return to temperance.  On Ash Wednesday people go to church to receive ashes and the abstinence of Lent will begin.

One of the things that make a visit to La Paz Carnaval special for me is that all the festivities happen at the Malecon, with fantastic sea and sunset views.  During the day I love watching the dolphins playfully jump out of the sea just by walking on Malecon, visiting their beautiful beaches or taking short trips to the adjacent islands.

If you are interested in visiting La Paz or attending our traditional Carnaval, please contact your Personal Assistant at pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com or call us at (624) 163-4300.

Photo: Carnaval La Paz

Carnaval De La Paz

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El fin de febrero marca el inicio de las tradicionales fiestas de carnaval en más de 200 entidades de México. Mientras que en algunas ciudades se realizan pequeñas y singulares celebraciones, otras tantas organizan grandes y espectaculares fiestas de carnaval, lo cual las hace una experiencia que se tiene que vivir. Tres de los sitios más populares para vivir la fiesta de Carnaval son Mazatlán, Veracruz y la ciudad vecina de Cabo San Lucas, La Paz. Desde ya tengo planes para asistir a el Carnaval de La Paz, y si te encuentras en la Baja Sur entre Febrero 27 y el 4 de Marzo te recomiendo ampliamente que lo visites!

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El primer Carnaval de La Paz se organizó en 1898 lo cual lo hace uno de los más antiguos en el país. El carnaval es una celebración que dura una semana y se desarrolla principalmente en el Malecón, donde el Mar de Cortez actúa como un magnífico telón de fondo para las festividades. El Carnaval usualmente inicia con la condena al “mal humor” y la elección de la reina y el rey de la felicidad. Hay divertidos desfiles con carros alegóricos, fiestas en la calle, y puestos callejeros (mis favoritos los de churros, donde tienen que probar los churros rellenos con cajeta), y durante las tardes y noches se organizan conciertos con músicos normalmente populares en México y fiestas que duran hasta las primeras horas del día siguiente. Los disfraces que utilizan los participantes son muy creativos y varían cada año, no puedo esperar a ver con que cosas salen disfrazados este año.

El carnaval en México termina el Martes de Carnaval, cuando otra imagen, la de Juan Carnaval se quema; esta imagen representa toda la juerga desenfrenada asociada con las fiestas. Esto marca el final del derroche y el regreso a la cordura. En Miércoles de Ceniza, la gente se dirige a la iglesia y recibe las cenizas que marcan el inicio de la Cuaresma.

Una de las muchas cosas que hacen especial una visita al Carnaval de La Paz es que todas las fiestas suceden en el malecón, con vistas al mar y espectaculares atardeceres. Durante el día me encanta ver a los delfines brincar y juguetear en el mar mientras caminas simplemente por el malecón, visitar las excelentes playas de La Paz o tomar pequeños viajes a las islas cercanas a La Paz.

Si estás interesado en visitar La Paz o asistir a su tradicional Carnaval, por favor contacta a tu Asistente Personal en el mail: pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com o llámanos al (624) 163-4300.

Foto: Carnaval de La Paz

Breidenbacher Hof’s Hoppeditz Cocktail

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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

Hoppeditz-cocktail

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

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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.