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Kick off to carnival: Carnival fans celebrate the start of the ‘fifth season’

Kick off to carnival : Carnival fans celebrate the start of the ‘fifth season’

At 11:11 a.m. on November 11, the new carnival season kicked into gear in Bonn. Hundreds of revelers celebrated, beginning in the morning already. Carnival season runs until February 26.

There are more rules to carnival than some people think. The most important one is: The start of the season opens on 11/11 at 11:11 a.m., neither earlier nor later. This Monday it kicked off on Marktplatz in the heart of the city. The band Flönz played their songs on stage and Stephan Eisel, vice-president of the festival committee of the Bonner Karneval, acted as moderator. The crowd did a good job of filling up the space between the stage and the town hall stairs. There was a countdown, followed by a cannon blast and the invasion of the carnival royalty coming from the town hall. In the style of a football commentator, Eisel said: "They are slowly fighting their way down the middle."

Bonn's Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan spoke of a "wonderful colorful picture" while taking in the view of the crowd. There were one to three "Alaafs" (the carnival cheer) for just about everyone who made it onto the stage. Marlies Stockhorst, President of the Festival Committee, introduced Prince and Bonna, Richard I and Catherine III. Carnival royalty members had been received in a small reception by Lord Mayor Sridharan previous to that. There was some trouble remembering the tongue-twisting motto of the Beuel carnival revelers (which had something to do with Beethoven being on every corner).

Season ends Ash Wednesday, February 26

For the ‘jecken’ (carnival revelers), the season ends on Ash Wednesday, February 26. Richard (on guitar) and Katharina (responsible for the lovely singing and, as they said, “having stood on many a battered stage" at a young age) intoned a piece especially written for this occasion. The text "Jötterfunke överall und wir sind mitten drin" was sung to the melody of the "Ode to Friends" from the Ninth Symphony, already hinting at the fact that Beethoven, the city's greatest son, is at the center of carnival season, after all, he would have turned 250 next year.

Especially in front of the stage there were some carnival revelers with little flags, on which Ludwig's portrait could be seen. The Bonn festival committee produced a scarf with the motto ("Jötterfunke överall - Ludwig, Bonn un Karneval") and it was wrapped around the necks of visitors to the Martkplatz, sometimes tighter, sometimes looser. With cool temperatures and beer just as cold - and having to find its way down the throats of some revelers, the cozy scarf certainly made a warming contribution to the success of the event.

Congolese meets Bonn Carnival

The colorful scarf helped Peter Klein from Beuel to get his cold under control "enough that I could come at all". He doesn't like to miss the kick-off. “There is enough happening in Bonn, but in the evening people can all still speak their names straight, which is not always the case at Cologne Carnival," he says. Mapendo Sumuni came to the carnival kick-off as more of a coincidence, she is visiting a friend who works at the United Nations.

The Congolese woman tells how she saw a gentleman dressed as a dinosaur walking by on Friedensplatz, on whose (covered) chest the word "T-Sex" could be read. Out of curiosity, she followed at an appropriately safe distance. "I have to say I like the colorful costumes and the cheerful dancing." This impression should please the Bonn carnival royalty. After all, they had stressed in unison that they wanted to bring the tradition to places where it had never been before.

More carnival photos can be found at kamelle.de.

Orig. text:Philipp Königs

Translation: ck