• Germany's news in English
 

Stricter rules mean no pony for St Martin

Published: 09 Nov 2012 16:41 GMT+01:00

Although the tradition of children parading through the streets with lanterns is still popular across Germany, it has lost some of its magic for many schools and nurseries because they have had to give up the traditional horse and rider, the regional Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) newspaper wrote on Friday.

Stricter rules were introduced for public gatherings after the Love Parade catastrophe in 2010 - in which 21 people were killed in am overcrowded tunnel - meaning few can now afford to wade through the paperwork and additional costs associated with hiring a horse for the occasion.

"For the first time we don't have a band, a horse, or a Martin," a mother from a Catholic kindergarten in the Frintrop area of Essen told the paper.

"We need written permission for the horse and we have to prove we have third party insurance for it," said Simone Findt from a nursery in the Rütterscheid area in Essen, adding she got help from parents with the mound of paper work. In a further safety measure, the horse had also to be surrounded by three people at all times, she said.

Such was the shock immediately after the Love Parade tragedy in neighbouring Duisburg in July 2010 that many in Essen cancelled their parades altogether that November, wrote the paper. But despite stricter rules, they seem to be back in full swing this year.

"In 2010 lots of people [in Essen] cancelled their St Martin's day parades. In 2011 there were about 200 of them, and the same this year," said Michaela Lippek from the coordination centre set up in Essen after the Love Parade tragedy.

Special permission is also needed to sell Glühwein to parents and, of course, strict safety measures had to be observed if a bonfire was built. "If that's the only way to prevent an accident happening, then that's ok," said Findt.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:43 November 9, 2012 by Bulldawg82
What do horses have to do with the Love Parade tragedy? Why did they need to be made so hard to approve? It seems to me that if you want to make sure that the Love Parade incident didn't repeat itself, you would make sure that the parade would not go thru tunnels or tight spaces - not eliminate horses and good ol' St. Martin. This restriction does not address any aspect/cause of that tragedy in any meaningful way.
23:03 November 9, 2012 by Englishted
Oh here is a surprise another knee-jerk reaction ,much the same as closing the nuclear plants in case of a tsunami.
03:55 November 10, 2012 by marimay
Have fun in your nanny state. Oh wait, no, fun is dangerous. No fun for you! :)
10:16 November 10, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I am sure I could have an opinion on this if I could bother my ass to think about it. German culture just does not interest me. They can ban the lot of it if they like. These are just excuses to march in my eyes and it is better if Germans have less marching events in light of their history.
15:39 November 10, 2012 by hanskarl
With these three comments I really can't add anything new. They are so spot on.
Today's headlines
Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia
File photo: DPA

Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia

Camera traps have spotted a wolf for the second time in a month in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state environment ministry reported on Friday. READ  

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay
Paraguayan police on patrol in an area known to contain EPP rebels. File photo: DPA

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that two Germans living in Paraguay were kidnapped and killed earlier this week. READ  

AfD braces for busy conference weekend
"Vote AfD!" reads the flyover message. Photo: DPA

AfD braces for busy conference weekend

As leaders of the Germany's anti-Euro upstart party Alternative for Germany (AfD) prepare for its party conference this weekend, the potential for chaos is rising. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

UPDATE: Two people were rescued from avalanches as a blast of winter has taken Germany by surprise, while snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday. READ  

BND collects 220 million phone records a day
Photo: DPA

BND collects 220 million phone records a day

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) collects 220 million pieces of information about foreign phone calls and SMS every day, Zeit Online reported on Friday. READ  

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers
Photo: DPA

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers

Germany temporarily hit the brakes Friday on applying its new minimum wage to foreign truck drivers transiting the country in a move welcomed by Poland, which vigorously opposed the system. READ  

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,526
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd