• Germany's news in English

Rhineland jesters try to get Munich to lighten up for Karneval

DDP/The Local · 10 Feb 2010, 17:58

Published: 10 Feb 2010 17:58 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In Munich, they count the “fifth season” – as Karneval is known – as, if anything, mildly foolish. For decades has the city didn't even have its own parade. But now the Bavarian capital is getting a bit of party-coaching from the Karneval-crazy folks of Cologne.

In the Schrannenhalle shopping centre next door to Munich’s world-renowned Viktualienmarkt, the serious parties will be kicking off Thursday under the motto, “Cologne meets Munich.”

Organisers expect 3,000 visitors a day.

From ''Fat Thursday'' through to Shrove Tuesday, partygoers can eat Mettbrötchen raw pork and Frikadellen meatballs with typical Kölsch beer from Cologne. An influx of Karneval businesses, DJs and live bands from the Rhineland are aiming to bring a bit of atmosphere to “dreary” Bavaria.

“Munich residents need a little extra coaching in partying,” declared the organiser Joachim Pohl, apparently willingly ignoring the city's famous beer bash Oktoberfest.

Cologne-born Pohl has lived in Bavarian “exile” for more than 30 years and is co-owner of Coellner im Paragraphen, a Cologne-style pub in Munich whose staff have been helping Bavarians celebrate Karneval for a few years while also offering homesick Rhinelanders a bit of comfort.

The chairman of the Cologne-Munich Karneval Association, Hans-Joachim Zimmermann, also has his doubts about the partying skills of the folks in the city and would, frankly, rather celebrate in Cologne.

“The flights home are already booked out. If you dress up on Karneval weekend in Munich, people look at you with confusion and amusement,” he said.

Rhinelanders in Bavaria who have no chance to flee home therefore see the parties thrown by their compatriots from Cologne as a welcome refuge.

A “newcomer” female student from Cologne said she was dismayed by the level of Karneval enthusiasm – or lack of it – in Munich.

“Here in Munich, people have no idea about Karneval, but I’ll make the best of the Fasching-façade here,” she explained.

Uli Kreuzer, the president of the Karneval firm Narrhalla, has an imaginative explanation for the “not so intense” way of celebrating the holiday in the Bavarian capital.

“The effect of Bavarian beer is very calming,” he said. Kreuzer is pleased, nevertheless, to be able to welcome a few “funny and loud” Rhinelanders in Munich each year.

Story continues below…

As for why Rhinelanders party so hard in their relatively mild climate, he adds: “Rhinelanders don’t have the winter-time leisure activities.”

To the exiled Cologne-fan, Pohl, it is all good fun either way.

He has found a second home in Munich and is able to preserve the old love of Karneval through his Cologne pub and the “clownish cultural import.”

In the Schrannenhalle, meanwhile, the preparations for the big event are continuing. Some 30,000 liters of Kölsch are ready to be tapped - an important tool helping Pohl his team of 70 people bring a bit of the Rhineland to his hometown to the Isar River.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd