Mayor Katja Dörner is the patron of the anniversary year and is full of anticipation for the session: "Weiberfastnacht is a truly unique feature. After all, it was in Beuel that millions of people invented what is now celebrated at the start of the street carnival in the Rhineland. On behalf of the city of Bonn, I would like to congratulate you on your 200th anniversary. I wish Washer Princess Sabrina I, her washerwomen and everyone involved a wonderful anniversary year and a great session. I am already looking forward to attending highlights such as the ceremonial proclamation and the storming of the town hall."
Beuels Obermöhn Ina Harder ergänzt: „Was für ein stolzes Jubiläum. Ich danke den Gründungsmitgliedern des Alten Beueler Damenkomitees, die 1824 den Mut hatten, sich gegen die Männer aufzulehnen und ihren Tag - Weiberfastnacht - ins Leben gerufen haben.“
The anniversary celebrations begin on the eve of "Elften im Elften" with a big kick-off concert in front of around 1500 guests with many stars of the Rhineland carnival, including Brings, Bläck Fööss, Kasalla, Klüngelköpp and Domstürmer. The proceeds from the event go to the Beueler Weiberfastnacht association, which uses them to finance various activities in the anniversary year.
To mark the anniversary, the proclamation of the Wäscherprinzessin will take place early in the session - as part of a fully booked big festive evening hosted by the city of Bonn on Friday, November 17, 2023. As a rule, the ladies' committees put on the proclamation program with their own forces. This year, they will be supported by well-known artists who are not normally seen on carnival stages. However, the Beuel ladies' committees not only want to be celebrated, but also contribute their own performances, including a joint performance led by cabaret artist Anka Zink on the history of Weiberfastnacht.
The anniversary session reaches its climax on Thursday, February 8, 2024, with the storming of the Beuel town hall by Wäscherprinzessin Sabrina I. (Michel). To mark the anniversary, top bands such as Kasalla, Räuber, Köbesse and Druckluft will perform the musical program at the town hall.
Beforehand, what is probably the largest parade in the history of Beuel's Weiberfastnacht will parade through the town. To mark the anniversary, a number of participants have registered to take part for the first time in Beuel, including the Beuel-Mirecourt Partnership Committee and the Stankt-Josef-Hospital. Guests from the other side of the Rhine, such as the Alkoholisierte Funken, will also be taking part in Beuel for the first time. The participating schools and many other groups have decided to make the anniversary motto "Tradition met Wieverklaaf, 200 Johr en Beuel, Alaaf!" visible in a special way. The Beueler Weiberfastnacht support association and the Beuel district administration office have had various items branded with the anniversary motifs, which will also be used by numerous other participants.
Carnival tours and city tours
"Möhneverzäll - 200 years of Beuel's Weiberfastnacht" is the title of a carnival foot tour through Beuel, which will be offered on two dates in January 2024 (January 6, 2 pm, January 27, 1 pm). On the approximately two-hour, three-kilometre walk through Beuel, a tour guide from Bonn Information and a former washerwoman princess will let participants in on the secrets of carnival in Beuel. For example, you can hear anecdotes about the everyday life of the Beuel washerwomen or the Bröckemännchen and Bröckeweibchen; you can also find out what a "Bütz-Offizier" is. At the end, the current washerwoman princess Sabrina I welcomes the guests to the Beueler Heimatmuseum for a small drink. Tickets at a price of 11.11 euros per person are available from November 11 at the Bonn Information Office or online at .
Next year, those interested will also have the opportunity to meet the carnival dignitaries from Bonn's districts on a carnival city tour in a double-decker bus. The 2.5-hour tour also takes guests to the most important sights in Bonn and provides anecdotes about carnival customs. Dates: January 21 and 28, both at 10 am. Tickets (price: 22.22 euros per person) are also available from November 11 at the Bonn Information Office or online at . Carnival attire is expressly encouraged for both events!
Chronicle, exhibition and teaching material on the history of Beuel's Weiberfastnacht
Just in time for the start of the anniversary session, a chronicle of Beuel's Weiberfastnacht, illustrated with 200 photos, has been published. The book, which was edited by Jürgen Nimptsch and honorary head mistress Evi Zwiebler, shows the development of the Beueler Weiberfastnacht embedded in the overall social emancipation movement of women. In addition, numerous prominent well-wishers have their say, including the Bläck Fööss, Kasalla, Cat Ballou, Willibert Pauels, Wicky Junggeburth and Konrad Beikircher.
The origins of Weiberfastnacht are the subject of an exhibition at the Heimatmuseum Beuel. It will be on display from January 4 to February 13, 2024 under the title "Laundries and laundresses".
The Förderverein Beueler Weiberfastnacht has also developed material for school lessons on the history of Weiberfastnacht, which Beuel schools will receive in time for the start of the session.
Events around International Women's Day 2024
The anniversary of Weiberfastnacht is not only a carnival celebration, but also one of emancipation. The Beuel washerwomen fought against male dominance and the associated exploitation of women. This is why both themes are reflected in the planned anniversary program. In the context of International Women's Day on March 8, 2024, events are planned in cooperation with the City of Bonn's Equal Opportunities Office, which will take up the aspect of emancipation using the example of Weiberfastnacht. Lord Mayor Katja Dörner will also be hosting a reception in the Old Town Hall.
The anniversary is organized by the Federal City of Bonn under the leadership of the Beuel district administration office and the Beueler Weiberfastnacht support association. Many other departments within the city administration are also involved. For example, the Cultural Office, the Center for City History and Remembrance Culture, the Bonn Information Office and the Office for International Affairs provide support.
Background: Weiberfastnacht the result of a women's movement
In 1824, the first committee of "washerwomen" was founded, today known as the Old Beuel Ladies' Committee of 1824. The washerwomen of Beuel came together on "Kühndonnerstag", stopped work and complained about their husbands in moritats and funny rhymes. In the previous year, the men had been delivering the laundry in the newly founded Cologne Carnival and had just made off with the money they had just earned.
This coffee klatch, the "Klaaf", has become established to this day and is continued around Weiberfastnacht as the traditional "Wieversitzung". Gradually, more and more ladies' committees were founded in the individual villages of Beuel.
At that time, Beuel had excellent conditions for the operation of laundries: Located directly on the Rhine with wide meadows on the banks, on which the sun shone in the afternoons during the best dry season. Alongside shipping on the Rhine, washing was the most important industry at the time. More than 200 laundries had plenty of work, as the newly founded Bonn University and the University of Cologne meant that many customers could be found in the area accessible via the Rhine.
Washing was a woman's job, only the delivery was carried out by men. As a result, it was clear early on on the right bank of the Rhine that women could make a significant contribution to society, run businesses successfully and assert their rights with confidence. The word "emancipation" was never uttered, it was lived in the laundries of Beuel.
So it is only understandable that the women did not stand by and watch their husbands' derailments for long and went on strike that day. And because there is no other way in the Rhineland, they didn't whistle and swear - they laughed and sang. So Weiberfastnacht on the Thursday before Rosenmontag is an invention of the Beuel washerwomen.
Many years later, a fixed idea became a tradition that continues to this day: in 1958, a princess was crowned from among the simple washerwomen for the first time - without an accompanying prince, of course. On Weiberfastnacht, the Wäscherprinzessin leads Beuel's foolish goings-on together with the Obermöhn and, like any "proper" royalty, storms the town hall to symbolically take over the regency. The Washer Princess in this anniversary year, Sabrina I, comes from the Old Beuel Ladies' Committee, which is also celebrating its 200th anniversary.