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!

 

Celebrating New Year’s Eve Around The World

New Year’s Eve happens to be one of my favorite holidays.  It involves self-reflection, a moment of bliss, and a commitment to renewal all wrapped into one night.  There is something so miraculous about millions of people joining together to countdown the last ten seconds of the year with the anticipation of a brighter and enlightened new beginning.  No matter what part of the world New Year’s is celebrated, traditions are honored with equal enthusiasm.  Along with the glitz and the glam of how you spend your New Years Eve, I have come to realize the best way to celebrate is to surround yourself with the ones you love the most.

At Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, our Capella family hails from many different countries and nations, each with their own New Year’s traditions.  Here are some of the interesting ways New Year’s Eve around the world is celebrated, as told by my Capella Washington, D.C. colleagues:

Iran by Cameron Nezam: Pastry delicacies are a main focal point in celebrating the New Year.  Families  bake goodies and treat one another to desserts as a way of ensuring a “sweet” New Year.

Cameron Nezam - Director of Diplomatic and Group Sales

Switzerland by Kelly Schneider: Lake Zurich offers the perfect backdrop setting for a magical display of fireworks.  Over 200,000 people gather together to celebrate with live music and entertainment and a sense of community.

Kelly Schneider - Catering Sales Manager

Belgium by Marie Belaen: A thoughtful gesture of gifting your loved ones with small presents as a token of good luck for the upcoming year is often observed in Brussels.

Marie Belaen - Sales and Marketing Intern

Philippines by Michael Katigbak: Part of the fun of getting ready for New Year’s Eve is collecting twelve round fruits.  Each one signifies a month of the year with the round shape being a metaphor for the year coming full circle.  In the tropics the fruit can be a lychee, but with tropical fruits harder to come by in the U.S., grapes are a perfect stand-in.

Michael Katigbak - Director of Sales and Marketing

Cultures and traditions vary geographically but each one, at its root, is meant to bring happiness, prosperity and good luck in the New Year.  If you happen to be celebrating in Washington D.C. this year, Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown is having a grand New Year’s Eve celebration.  The event starts with cocktails in The Rye Bar, leading into a special five-course champagne dinner hosted by our Executive Chef, Frank Ruta and Master Sommelier, Keith Goldston in The Grill Room, and finally dancing and musical entertainment into the New Year on our Rooftop Bar & Lounge.  I hope to see you there!

Rooftop Lounge

For more information about our Rooftop New Year’s Eve Party, please email our Personal Assistant team at pa.dc@capellahotels.com or call 202.617.2416.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

One Year Anniversary Of Capella Washington, D.C.

March 22nd marks the One Year Anniversary of Capella Washington, D.C. and I can’t help but think back nostalgically to all the incredible successes we’ve experienced thus far!  Each day leading to opening was a dense mix of excitement, fear, and amazement as we prepared to open the first Capella branded property in the United States.  I invite you to take a look at a few of my favorite memories from this last year that attribute to all of our achievements thus far!

Bruce Bradley, Horst Schulze, Alex Obertop

Prior to opening, the entire Capella Hotels And Resorts corporate office came to Washington, D.C. for employee orientation.  Over a ten day period known as “Countdown” we participated in a variety of activities, not only meant for team building, but also to help us better understand Capella culture, which truly sets us apart from all other hotel companies.  What fascinated me about orientation was that each employee had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Horst Schulze.  It’s not every day when you have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with your CEO!  It became clear that working at Capella Washington, D.C. meant that I was part of a great company that truly believed in creating excellence.

Steak Dinner The Grill Room

I’ll also never forget the days and weeks we all spent tasting and sampling dishes in the kitchen with Executive Chef of The Grill Room, Jakob Esko!  I was sitting in my office when I received a call from Chef saying, “come to the kitchen at noon, we are voting on the best steaks to select for the restaurant.”  It was amazing to be included in this fun and delicious process, selecting the beef with the best flavor, prime grade, aging, and tenderness.  Now, when I see how much guests love The Grill Room’s variety of unique, seasonally inspired dishes and steaks, I think back to those moments in pre-opening and I feel special knowing I was part of the conceptualizing and creation of the menu that our guests know and love today.

I’ve also loved the relationships we’ve built over the past year.  Establishing partnerships with The Washington Ballet, Resident Stylist, April Yvonne, Fuse Pilates, Luigi Parasmo Salon, and most recently, The University of Maryland for the Capella Constellation Series has been an incredible journey of creating unique and personalized guest experiences.  I am thrilled to be a part of a hotel that offers a wide span of activities in the world of theater, fashion, style, food & wine, astronomy, and much more!

I am so excited to welcome guests on Wednesday, March 26th as we celebrate our One Year Anniversary at the Rye Bar at Capella Washington, D.C. from 5:00-7:00pm.  As a sign of our gratitude, each guest will receive one Rye Bar spring themed cocktail upon arrival as well as passed canapés! Thank you for making the past year a fantastic one, and I look forward to seeing you at our celebration!

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)