Added on: 25th January, 2011
Members of Bromley Town Twinning Association will be travelling to Germany soon to enjoy carnival in Bromley’s twinned town of Neuwied. They will meet Neuwied’s Lord Mayor, Herr Nikolaus Roth and take part in the main carnival parade on “Rosenmontag” on Monday 7th March.
Bromley’s twinned town of Neuwied on the banks of the Rhine river is getting set for its annual carnival festivities. Carnival (karneval) is celebrated in many parts of Germany but nowhere is it more popular than in the Rhineland with a history that goes back many centuries. The first written record of karneval in Cologne, for example, dates back to 1341. Neuwied’s Karneval, as elsewhere in Germany, began on the 11th November last year at 11.11am (eleven being regarded as a magical and mystic number). Karneval is regarded as the fifth season of the year along with Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Activities from November onwards are frequent but generally low key until the final few “Crazy Days” (Tolle Tage) which take place exactly 6 weeks before the Easter weekend. This year these days fall from Thursday 3rd to Tuesday 8th March.
One member of the group, David Noble says “This is the best time to go - it’s colourful, it’s fun and it’s a good opportunity to mingle with and get to know people in our twinned town.” But be warned, the Thursday is the ladies’ carnival night (Wieberfastnacht) when by tradition women may cut off the tie of any man who passes by and kiss them should they want to. On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, carnivalists will be celebrating in bars and restaurants throughout Neuwied. The frenzy of activity peaks on Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) with a grand carnival parade through the town with festivities continuing throughout the evening and often into the early hours. Then, as with all good things, karneval comes to an end at midnight the next day, Shrove Tuesday, with the burning of the carnival spirit (using an effigy of the carnival prince) in repentance for all the feasting, drinking and merriment that has gone before. So if you are in the vicinity of Neuwied at the time, go into town and join in the fun. If you are from Bromley, you will be given a very warm welcome!
[Photo: Neuwied carnival - a town full of colour]