Weiberfastnacht – the woman’s day in carnival

Woman’s in carnival mode

Carnival in AachenWatch your tie

The Thursday before Carnival is a dangerous day if you are wearing a tie. This is “the party day” for all the ladies in town who like to celebrate this tradition and as well called “Old Women Day” or “The Women’s Day”. You will see groups of women who cut off ties from all the men they meet. In Cologne this is Weiberfastnacht and in Aachen it’s called Fettdonnerstag or just Altweiber – and I try to stay at home.


There is a well written article from Deutsche Welle about this tradition which began many years ago with a group of washerwomen in the small town of Beuel that lies along the banks of the Rhine River close to Cologne and Bonn. Fed up with working while the men were off celebrating carnival, the washerwomen decided it was their turn to throw in the towel and raise a glass or two. In 1824, they founded a Beuel women’s carnival committee, which still exists till today.

Women’s rights movement

“The day’s unique history is also linked to the women’s rights movement” is the subtitle of the of the Deutsche Welle article.

Funny tradition to cut ties

carnival or altweiberfastnacht im buero by Steffen Michel I saw at the Blog photokej by Steffen Michel this nice picture. It’s a collection of ties on an office cabinet. Every tie has a tag with the owners name and other details.

Carnival Background

In Germany and there in the Rhineland carnival festivities developed especially strongly. An article in Wikipedia says that this “…was a way to express subversive anti-Prussian and anti-French thoughts in times of occupation, through parody and mockery. Modern carnival there began in 1823 with the founding of a Carnival Club in Cologne. Most cities and villages of the Rhineland have their own individual carnival traditions.

Where to go?

The famous locations for carnival are the Cities of Cologne (Köln), Aachen, Eschweiler, Düsseldorf and Mainz.

Why this article?

Today is again such a “power to the woman’s day” and I love it. This day gives me the time to write because I like my ties in one part and I even more like my wife in party mode – while I take care for the kids.

Have fun and celebrate life!

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on msamba.

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