The German Carnival begins with a kiss

31st January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Celebrations shift into high gear with female revellers cutting ties and doling out kisses.

Dusseldorf -- Women revellers snipped off men's neckties or shoelaces in Lower Rhineland cities of Germany Thursday as the annual carnival celebrations in the region shifted into high gear.

Hundreds of delegates to a European conference on industrial gases were warned to watch out for women with scissors if they ventured onto the streets of Dusseldorf from the city's congress centre.

Those willing to join in should wear a cheap and expendable tie, and could expect compensation with kisses from the women assailants, organizers advised the suited men.

Women's Carnival Day, on Thursday, began a six-day festival lasting till Mardi Gras with partying, variety shows, parades and 24-hour drinking in crowded taverns in a band of cities along the lower Rhine valley.

Many businesses were short-staffed with employees demanding leave so they could join in.

German airline Lufthansa warned international passengers to the Rhine Thursday about the threat to their ties. The prank is a gesture of disrespect, but with no ill will intended.

In an ancient ritual, the town halls of Cologne and other cities formally surrendered their keys to cheering women revellers, although police kept a close eye on the ceremonies.

In the main square of Aachen, on the Dutch border, police at cordons frisked merrymakers and confiscated bottles of spirits.

In Dusseldorf, one man wore a Scottish kilt with his knees bare and many women revellers wore skimpy, fancy dresses, despite an air temperature hovering just above freezing.

Carnival traditionally offers a last splurge of pleasure before the Catholic fasting season of Lent, which begins next Wednesday.

DPA with Expatica

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