Thursday, February 23, 2006

take my advice and wear a polo shirt

Where we live the Karneval season has been in full swing since November, but Elemmaciltur just reminded me that today is also a very special day, especially in the Rhein and southern regions of Germany. As of 11:11 a.m. this morning, it was officially Weiberfastnacht, Women's Carnival Day. Weiberfastnacht, also known as schmutzige Donnerstag (dirty Thursday) marks the first day of the five days leading up to Rosenmontag, the end of Karneval, Ash Wednesday being the first day of Lent. The kids will be putting on their costumes on Monday morning (yes, there will be pictures!) and going to school for a day of fun.

Today is the day when women can let loose and show the men who's boss. Some women storm their local city hall demanding the keys to the city. Others go around cutting off men's neckties. That's right. A women goes up to a strange man and cuts off his tie, supposedly making him less masculine and therefore less powerful. And if she likes the looks of him she's also allowed to kiss him, or any other man who crosses her path. Whoo!

I may consider kissing someone (The mailman perhaps? Maybe the butcher? Or the produce manager at the market? I just can't make up my mind.) but I don't think I'll be messing with anyone's masculinity. Mr. M, who wears a tie to work every day, has amassed quite a collection of fashionable neckwear over the years and I know for a fact that he would throw an absolute fit if he saw me coming at him with a pair of scissors.

We'll just leave this strange custom to those ladies in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz who really know how to party.

24 Comments:

At February 23, 2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Hehehehe, good that I reminded you, eh? I'm not wearing any neckties...but I just hope that there'll be no crazy ladies coming up at me with scissors in her hand wanting to cut my scarf in half.

Going to head downtown to do some yarn shopping (specificall sock yarns....despite the fact that I've 6 skeins in my stash. The Regia Canadian Colours just look way to yummy to resist).

 
At February 23, 2006 2:31 PM, Blogger christina said...

Elemm - Oh yeah, watch out for your scarf today! I should really try knitting a pair of socks, I love that Regia yarn.

 
At February 23, 2006 3:00 PM, Blogger Ginnie said...

Better not kiss the mailman! You know all those stories about kids and mailmen :)

 
At February 23, 2006 5:34 PM, Blogger Betty said...

Seems to me that kissing the RIGHT PERSON could create benefits. Cheaper pork in your future??? Go kiss that butcher.

 
At February 23, 2006 6:37 PM, Anonymous mar said...

Happy carneval days! you are right, that's for the ladies in the Cologne area. I guess one has to be born there to really enjoy this... To your question: to my knowledge Spanish schools do not put such a great emphasis on oral participation as the German system does. I think it is fine to have presentations at school but sometimes if the kids are not paying attention, there goes 15% of the semester grade... it's excessive.

 
At February 23, 2006 8:49 PM, Blogger christina said...

Ginnie - I know, I know! Mr M *already* jokes about Boy9 being the mailman's child because he doesn't look at all like either of us or like his brother. :-)

Betty - You're right! Free pork chops for life!

Mar - I've heard that even some German can do without Karneval. I'm sure it must be quite loud when you're living right in the middle of Cologne or something.

In my younger son's social studies class oral participation makes up 60% of his grade and he's a very shy boy so you can imagine how that it. Even our older boy, who's quite outgoing, gets told he doesn't participate enough.

 
At February 23, 2006 9:09 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Happy "Krawatten schneiden". Ha, we don't need that, do we? In modern times, we get (mostly) what we want without the use of scissors ;-)

 
At February 23, 2006 9:31 PM, Blogger christina said...

canadianswiss - Nope, no scissors needed. I can think of much better methods of bringing a man to his knees. ;-)

 
At February 24, 2006 12:02 AM, Blogger Nyana said...

Those are some fun times! I'm so proud of you for not cutting anyone up, sorry their ties rather. I never knew about this tradition yet it put a smile on my face. It sounds like fun. Happy Weiberfastnacht to you! (is it ok to say that?)
By the way, thank you so much for the message you left on my blog - that meant a lot! :))))

 
At February 24, 2006 1:05 AM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Hahahaha, I'm so evil. I've already spread some sock-bug at the SnB. Now I'm also spreading it on blogosphere. This is even quicker than avian flu!

 
At February 24, 2006 1:58 AM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

We need to start a tradition like that over here! I don't wear a tie, but I would gratefully accept the kisses!

 
At February 24, 2006 3:25 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Why do the people in Mainz really know how to party???

(I have friends there, so just curious:)

 
At February 24, 2006 9:32 AM, Blogger christina said...

Nyana - sure, it's fine to say that! Mr. M didn't get his tie cut off at work either so he's safe for another year.

Elemm - viral sock yarn marketing!

mr. fabulous - What, you mean strange women don't go around kissing you every day? Hard to believe. ;-)

Cathy - Well Mainz, Düsseldorf and Köln are some of the cities where Karneval is really big so everyone parties. We're a bit more subdued up here in the north.

 
At February 24, 2006 9:41 AM, Anonymous lydia said...

This sounds like so much fun! I want the keys to the city but I don't know how to say it in german?

 
At February 24, 2006 11:10 AM, Blogger Haddock said...

The tie cutting is supposed to happen in Darmstadt as well, but I never saw it happen when I lived there :)

 
At February 24, 2006 11:29 AM, Blogger J said...

Here too! I've just woken up after returning home at 3am from a Women's Day celebration.

 
At February 24, 2006 12:57 PM, Blogger christina said...

lydia - It's too late now but you've got until next year to practice your German. :-)

Haddock - I haven't seen it happen either, but I'm sure there must be a lot of rather unhappy men somewhere.

J - Wow, 3 a.m.? Did you check to see if all your bits are still intact? ;-)

 
At February 25, 2006 10:32 AM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Happy Woman's Day to ya! Our woman's day "Giorno della Donne" isn't until March 8th.

Happy Carnival too!
Cyn

 
At February 25, 2006 10:53 AM, Blogger J said...

Tie cutting definitely happens here (which is why I don't wear a tie on Women's Day).

I appear to be intact.

 
At February 25, 2006 2:44 PM, Blogger GC PHILO said...

Yeah, the kids get dressed up here on Monday too, but they don't have any school -- for a week! Don't they have off in your part fo the world too?

 
At February 25, 2006 11:05 PM, Blogger christina said...

cynthia rae - Thanks! I've never heard of the "Giorno della Donne" - I'll have to look into that.

J - Good to know that you're still in one piece. :-)

GC Philo - up here they don't get holidays, but more Catholic regions might, I'm not quite sure. The kids do get time off for Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day) and Pfingsten (Whitsun) later in the year though so maybe that makes up for it.

 
At February 26, 2006 4:41 AM, Blogger Crystal said...

Women wielding scissors...VERY scary! I actually saw some news coverage about the German Carnival and of course, in New Orleans they've kicked off Mardi Gras as well. Hope the kids have fun Monday!!

 
At February 26, 2006 2:36 PM, Blogger euro-trac said...

That's just great! I've always thought that 'a way to a man's heart is with a carving knife...'
I reckon a large pair of scissors would do the job pretty well though..
:-)

 
At February 27, 2006 12:23 AM, Blogger Tim Rice said...

That cultural practice is fascinating. I never heard of such a practice before. I think I'd look twice if I saw a women coming at me with a sissor or else I'd turn tail and run for my life. ;) Actually, I don't wear ties so they couldn't cut a tie on me.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Copyright © 2005-2012 by 'Mausi'. All rights reserved. It's not nice to steal.