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Town hall storming by the “washer princess”: Here is information about Weiberfastnacht in Beuel

Town hall storming by the “washer princess” : Here is information about Weiberfastnacht in Beuel

The preparations for Weiberfastnacht are in full swing. In Beuel the day has a special tradition. Here you can find all information about it at a glance.

Colourful costumes, sweets and creatively designed carneval floats are an indispensable part of every carneval party. But the tradition around the washer princess and her washerwomen only exists in Beuel. This is what you should know about Weiberfastnacht 2020 in Beuel:

This new washer princess

The new Beuel washer princess for the session 2019/2020 is Romina Markmann. She will start the Beethoven anniversary year as Romina I. with the motto "Beuele Wieve klassisch jeck, mit Beethoven he an jeder Eck" (tradition Beuel women revellers, with Beethoven on every corner). The daughter of showman Hubert Markmann (“Huppemann”), and his wife Claudia has been working in the family business since 2016. The 22-year-old will be supported by her washer assistants Lena Obliers and Sabrina Michel.

As a native of Bonn, she had the opportunity to gain experience last year as Luisa I's washer helper. At the age of seven, Romina danced with the children’s corps of the Beueler city soldiers and was active with them until 2016. Her hobbies are sports, meeting friends and of course, carnival. Since 2017 she is an active member of the old Beueler Ladies Committee.

The start of a long tradition

Weiberfastnacht is still the day when women rule the streets, dress up, cut off the men's ties and storm the town hall. Although the idea for this festival began in 1824 in Bonn-Beuel, the old tradition is still partly continued today. At that time on the Thursday before carnival in 1824, the Beuel washer women decided that they were no longer content to slave away while their husbands celebrated Carnival in high spirits. So they have met every year since then to fight against the dominance of the men. Thus, the women’s carnival as we know it today arose from a cosy meeting over a cup of coffee.

In Beuel, a washer princess has been elected every year since 1958 to represent the women of Beuel. Until 1964 the person was themselves a laundress. The princess is solemnly proclaimed four weeks before Weiberfastnacht. Since 1999, the run-up to the climax of the carnival has included a laundry competition, in which the Häärekomitee competes against the women from all Beuel women’s committees for close combat at the laundry sink. A jury of prominent Beuel people judges the cleanliness, smell and number of items washed in three minutes. Between the bouts of washing, the Häärekomitee provides lots of top-notch carnival interludes in the parish hall of Pützchen.

What will happen on Weiberfastnacht in Beuel

Weiberfastnacht is the big day for the laundry princess and the storming of the town hall. Supported by her helpers, she enters Beuel’s town hall, where the mayor of Bonn, the district mayor and their representatives are waiting for the ladies to defend the town hall. On Thursday, 20 February, the traditional Weiberfastnacht procession will take place in Beuel. The procession will start in Siegburger Straße and will continue along Königswinterer Straße, Gustav-Kessler-Straße, Obere Wilhelmstraße, Siegfried-Leopold-Straße, Gottfried-Claren-Straße, An St. Josef, Johann-Link-Straße, Hermannstraße and Friedrich-Breuer-Straße (take care: there is little room for spectators here) until it will end again at the town hall.

On Thursday morning, the celebrations will start at 9 a.m. on the town hall square in Beuel. And even after the storming of the town hall and the Weiberfastnachts procession, the fun for the revelers is by no means over. The colourful carnival mayhem together with the Beuel “Rot-Blau” town soldiers can be celebrated from 12 noon at the Zeughaus as well as at the town hall. There will also be an after-zoch party in Vilich-Müldorf in the Mühlenbachhalle, organised by the local citizens' association.

The session will end for the laundry princess on Violet Tuesday with the traditional "Häubchenrupfe" (taking off the bonnet) in the Zur Rheinbrücke restaurant in the Hofburg. The ritual is based on the feather plucking from the carnival princes. Late in the evening, shortly before Ash Wednesday, the Obermöhn takes the bonnet from the laundry princess and removes the sceptre.

All information about the washer princess and the Beuel tradition can also be found on the official homepage of the washer princess.

Dates you shouldn’t miss:

– 17 January, 7.11 p.m.: Proclamation of the washer princess in the Brückenforum.

– 18 January, 7.11 p.m.: Washing competition in the parish centre Pützchen.

– 20 February, from 9 a.m.: Weiberfastnacht procession and storming of the town hall.

– 25 February, 7 p.m.: "Häubchenrupfe" in the restaurant “Zur Rheinbrücke”, Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 2.

(Original text; ga.de, translation John Chandler)