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From: 2013.11.10 To: 2013.11.10
Most people don't realize that Carnival season in Germany actually begins on the 11th of November, and not in Feburary. But it does. It begins when a jester called the Hoppeditz wakes up from his coffin and makes an official announcement of the beginning of carnival by satirically listing off all of the events of the previous year. In Düsseldorf, the Hoppeditz Awakes (Hoppeditz Erwachen), draws over 5,000 people. They gather in front of city hall listening to the Hoppeditz sarcastically recap the year’s events. It's funny, weird, and of course all for show. The Hoppediz is actually played by an appropriately satirical local, while his entertainment is generally only in German, there's plenty of beer, sausage, and contagious laughter to keep non-German speakers entertained. And the Hoppeditz will then remain in the city, joking around and passing time until the official Carnival begins. Then his departure on Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of the festivities. It's then that the Hoppediz is burned, no not the actual person, just an effigy, and put back in his coffin until next year.