• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Stricter rules mean no pony for St Martin

The Local · 9 Nov 2012, 16:41

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.

Story continues below…

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
Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,591
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd