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!

 

New Year Celebrations in Mexico

New Year’s is upon us! The New Year celebrations in Mexico vary depending on the region, but in general, dinner with the family is the most common New Year’s Eve event.

This year we will celebrate at my home. We will start the evening by a late-night dinner. I am preparing traditional Mexican dishes including Bacalao (dried salted codfish), and Romeritos (patties of dried shrimp, sprigs of a wild plant known as ‘Romerito’ that resembles rosemary and potatoes served in a mole sauce).  We normally toast with apple cider (not Champagne as elsewhere), and my mother-in-law will prepare the fruit punch for the occasion.

At midnight we all shout “Feliz año nuevo!”  Followed by the grape tradition.  What is the “grape tradition?” During the tolling of the 12 bells announcing the hour, a grape is eaten at each of the 12 bell tolls.  The grapes represent a wish for the abundance for each month of the coming year. After this we embrace each other and say wishes for the upcoming year.

But that is just a sampling of our New Year’s traditions!  Two popular ones include:

  • If you want to have luck in love in the coming year, you need to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve.
  • If you are looking for luck with money, make sure your underwear is yellow.

Not all of the traditions require you to wear special undergarments.  One of my favorite says, that if you want to travel during the new-year then you must take your luggage for a walk around the block!

After New Year’s Eve, we usually relax on January 1st and have lunch with other friends and relatives.

I would love to hear how you celebrate New Year’s Eve?

 

(En Español)