Weiberfastnacht 2: The Reaping Of The Ties

Last February, I wrote about Fasching, including “Weiberfastnacht”, or “Women’s carnival night”.  Here’s a quick recap about Weiberfastnacht:

The Thursday before Ash Wednesday is known as Weiberfastnacht.  On this day tradition dictates that women are allowed to cut off the tie of any man within reach.    The women are also allowed to kiss any man they like, according to some versions of tradition. 

I didn’t last long at all today.  It’s just 10:30 and I’m already snipped:


One of my colleagues is a tie hunter. She shows off her trophies on the wall.  Some of these are paper-  after the first two ties were cut, the other men in the office started to put on paper ties.  It’s a massacre!


It’s not all wardrobe-bloodshed, though.  At the start of Fasching, sometimes the RVV (the local public transit authority) gives away Krapfen (donuts) at the main bus station.  Just look for the fuzzy green hats and reflective vests…

donuts2 donuts1

Watch out for your neckties, friends!  Have any of you had your ties cut (or done some tie cutting) yourself?


12 thoughts on “Weiberfastnacht 2: The Reaping Of The Ties

            1. That’s part of the difference between “Fastnacht/Karneval” and “Fasching.”
              The whole “cutting ties” and kissing business is very Bavarian and closely tied to Fasching. Also tonight is generally the craziest night in all the areas that celebrate this tradition as opposed to the areas that celebrate Karneval where it’s all about “Rosenmontag.”
              In Fastnacht areas women usually dress up as witches today, followed by a big witchhunt and sometimes a symbolic “burning of the witches.”
              The Bavarian tradition starts out the same, but as soon as the crowd rounds up the witches in the town center they break free and start hunting down their oppressors, cutting ties (strong symbol right there :D), kissing, blackmailing them for free drinks etc.


              1. tg

                Mmmmh, cannot quite agree with you. Although Bavaria has a lot of (weird) traditions, “cutting ties” does not originate from here. The “cutting ties”-tradition comes from Cologne, where there is not “all about Rosenmontag” but where every day from Weiberfastnacht (Thurday) up to the following Wednesday (Aschermittwoch) is full of different traditions with Weiberfastnacht one of the most important days (when most Cologne based businesses and firms are closed for the afternoon).


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  2. Hey – thanks for this great post. It was informative as I was creating a post about Weiberfastnacht for our blog, the Global Citizen Daily (http://globalcitizendaily.com/story/global-citizenship/2013/03/celebrating-girl-power-in-the-traditional-german-way). Borrowed your funny pic of the Tie Hunter’s board of clipped ties (with credit) and linked to your blog as well. Hope you get some traffic from us! Thanks for creating such entertaining posts.


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