Bonn · Despite the corona pandemic, carnival events are to be held in Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Aachen next year. How this will happen exactly, however, is still completely open.
Carnival without kisses and dancing? The carnival fans in the Rhineland have to be prepared for this possibility. Although their party season 2021 still seems a long way off, those in charge of the Rhineland carnival strongholds are already thinking about how to reconcile the sociable customs and the currently valid rules of distance. To this end, the presidents of the committees of the Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Cologne Carnival met on Sunday for a first exchange of ideas on the topic of "Corona and Carnival".
"It won't be easy, because carnival traditionally means closeness and community. Nevertheless, we are sure that there will and must be an event season next year as well," emphasised Christoph Kuckelkorn, President of the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee. Carnival is a centuries-old tradition with high social relevance. People need such traditions and connections, especially in times of crisis, to draw strength and courage from them, Kuckelkorn said.
The representatives of the carnival strongholds agree that it is still too early for concrete statements, especially since it is not yet clear under which rules the events can take place. "It is completely unclear whether we can have parties and parades as usual, because of course the protection of people’s health always comes first", explains Frank Prömpeler, President of the Aachen Carnival Festival Committee. "Perhaps this will be the season to go back to the origins: Celebrating in small groups in the Veedeln (Rhineland lingo for „quarters“) instead of on the stages of the big ceremonial events.
Digital solutions are also possible. This is also where the artists and the member societies are called upon to organise and positively accompany new forms of carnival: "One thing is already clear: There will be carnival royalty in all four cities. "At the moment we are all planning the season as usual," says Marlies Stockhorst, president of the Bonn Carnival Festival Committee. The selection of the respective „royals“, the planning of the parades, the preparation of the parties: All this will continue until there are clear legal regulations. For the season, he said, a prince and princess couple or triumvirate are needed to guide the „Jecken“ (carnival-celebrating people) through the carnival time, even if the events will be small celebrations. "We have agreed not to announce the royals’ names until after the summer break", said Stockhorst.
(Original text: Holger Willcke / Translation: Mareike Graepel)