The new carnival session was opened on Friday at 11:11 am in Cologne, Düsseldorf and other strongholds of foolish merriment. In Cologne, where 11.11. is traditionally celebrated particularly big, thousands of costumed people had gathered from abroad. "Not everything works out in Cologne, but what we can definitely do is celebrate," said entertainer Guido Cantz on WDR television.
Last year was November 11th. also celebrated, but still under Corona conditions. In 2020, the start of the carnival was completely canceled due to the pandemic. This time, a particularly large rush of revelers is expected because 11.11. falls on a Friday and the weather is relatively good. Almost 1,100 police officers and 150 regulatory office employees are said to be on duty.
The city and police have developed a new security concept for the student quarter. In the past there had always been an almost unmanageable rush of young revelers as well as massive problems with alcohol excesses and wild pissers. This time, visitors should only be able to access the area around Zülpicher Straße via a single entrance, while those waiting should be able to stay in an alternative area.
Nevertheless, the basic problem that has existed for years remains that "far too many people want to celebrate in far too small a space", said city director Andrea Blome. "We can't stop anyone from coming to Cologne."
Regulatory office: carnivalists should “behave a bit”
The head of the public order office, Athene Hammerich, said: "We are in a good position. Let's hope it stays calm. Let's hope the revelers celebrate peacefully." Because the 11.11. this time falls on a Friday and the weather is good, a particularly large crowd is expected in Cologne. In connection with excessive alcohol consumption, this has led to unsightly scenes in the past.
The responsible department head of the Cologne regulatory office, Dirk Schmaul, said the staff had been increased by a third. "Of course, the party mood is certainly unabated, or the catch-up effect is still there." Schmaul called on all revelers not to "urinate in doorways and to behave a bit".
It should also be full in Cologne's old town. However, the city does not expect any particular problems there. On the Heumarkt there is a stage program all day long with bands such as the Bläck Fööss, the Paveiers or Brings. According to the Willi Ostermann Society, around 10,000 tickets were sold in advance for the event, which will be broadcast by WDR for several hours.
In Düsseldorf, the day begins with the traditional "Hoppeditz awakening". Punctually at 11.11 a.m. the rogue will give a mocking speech in front of the town hall. Also in Mainz and many other regions of Germany the fools start into the "fifth season".
Mainz fools "uff die Gass"
Under a cold November sky, more than a thousand people swayed in the carnival mood in Mainz. Punctually at 11.11 a.m. they dared to say a first helau before the presidents of two district associations passed the "Foolish Basic Law" on 11.11. wanted to read.
The fools from Mainz and the surrounding area were not put off by the autumnal weather and went out into the streets early in the morning in colorful costumes. "We're celebrating our eleventh wedding anniversary today," said Bianca and Frank. "We got married on November 11th because we are die-hard Fasenachters." They are active in the "Eiskalte Brüder" club - "we don't mind the cold at all."
After two years with corona restrictions, boisterous celebrations in the four carnival colors of blue, yellow, red and white were possible again for the first time. The foolish hotspot was the Schillerplatz in Mainz with the carnival fountain. 16 music groups or soloists were announced on a stage in front of the baroque Osteiner Hof, starting with the Mainz court singers. "Schillerplatz can endure anything, and that's why we will present all facets of Mainz art," said Thomas Neger, whose song "Im Schatten des Doms" expresses Mainz's attitude to life.