“Ho Narro!” reverberates through Konstanz's oldest district, Niederburg. The shirt shine parade is on its way. White fools. Traditionally, they are on every Dirty Dunscht, the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. Fools walk through the city in nightgowns, nightcaps and white painted faces, interspersed with a couple of oversized figures and Guggen musicians. In Dunschtig, Konstanz is completely turned upside down. The city becomes a party. Wake up at 5:30, vacate the town hall, rush to the town hall, set up a fool's tree.
“It surpasses anything I experienced in Cologne, it's just a different atmosphere,” says Martina, who is from the Rhineland and lives on the island of Reichenau. “The people of Konstanz behave terribly stiff all year round, but in Dunschtig, as old Konstanzer, you meet people you haven't seen for 50 years. And suddenly everything is relaxed,” says friend Roman. Galleries, squares, wine bars, Münsterplatz – everywhere is a party. There are many students among the shirt-shiners, some of them carry small linen carts neatly sorted by school, with a “reprimand” on the back of the teachers.
Also in circulation is the “Jacobin Force”, which was founded in 1970, allegedly because money allegedly flowed from the Lake Constance region to the Jacobins during the French Revolution. From a historical point of view it is a carnival of nonsense, in the late 18th century Constance was home to more exiled monarchists than members of the Third Estate. “Only young, beautiful women have grace at the guillotine, where the knife is stopped,” says one of the Jacobins. In fact, the group's roots go back to a former French garrison.
A third of the visitors come from Switzerland
Three women in bright yellow bird costumes are sitting on the curb, a man is lying in front of them: “What costumes are you wearing?” The women laugh – what a stupid question: “We are brown. bears.” Electropop plays in front of an Indian restaurant and dances, the square in front of the cathedral is a party zone. “The Garasch” is also a popular party spot. A carport that only opens during the carnival.
In terms of atmosphere and history, the Konstanz carnival differs from that of Rottweil or Stockach, where the rules of urban feudalism are still taken bitterly seriously today. In Konstanz, the celebrations are less traditional and more free; about a third of the carnival visitors come from Switzerland. Students are rarely traditionalists anyway. And parodies of the everyday, as you'll see from the many women with artfully sculpted Botox lips, play a big role – as do artistic DIY costumes, from birdcutter suits to robots.
Historically, the Konstanz carnival is also in a special position in southwestern Germany: “Historically, the carnival here is a colorful cocktail of Alemannic customs with mask-wearing guilds, carnival carnival and a strong part of the Rhineland,” says project director Tobias Engelsing. city museums. During the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, the Austrian authorities swept aside the last remnants of the “Mummereyen” of the late medieval, crude and alcohol-saturated craft guilds.
Writing text? Rather uncool
The emerging bourgeoisie then became enamored with the characters of the Italian Carnevale, but also imitated the Viennese court balls. Until the mid-19th century, events were dominated by “redouts” and “carnival balls” organized by music clubs and middle-class gentlemen's clubs.
Influenced by the revived Cologne carnival, several carnival societies emerged in Konstanz after 1880 with names fitting the colonial era, such as Elephants AG or Kamelia Paradies, plus the Niederburg carnival society, which was influenced by the old town.
To this day, these spurs of the Rhine define above all the so-called stage carnival. “Carnival companies are starting to run out now: there is a lack of young people who can safely compose, write and act on stage,” says Engelsing. Writing texts, learning and playing are rather uncool.
Anyone who passes through Dunschtig's pubs, stops at the “Weinstube Niederburg” or even stays in a private apartment in one of the back buildings will see the people of Konstanz still celebrating traditionally: 71-year-old carnival resident Norbert Heizmann is playing there. ukulele and sings his Alemannic rhymes first. It's not just the local newspaper that gets anything from Heizmann. “One has the plague, the other an ulcer, they are still doing well, we have Südkurier here.” Or the flannel-loving Winfried Kretschmann: “Because a child and a woman and a mother – they don't do that.” won't shower because of gas. And only Dr. Wäschlappa doesn't know – like the Prime Minister.