German Women Seize Local Governments As a Joke

People dressed in costumes celebrate the traditional fat thursday (Weiberfastnacht) on February 27, 2014 in Bonn, Germany. Beueler Weiberfastnacht (washerwomen's carnival) is traditionally celebrated in the Bonn district of Beuel. This year they celebrate their 190th anniversary. The tradition started in 1824, when the Beueler washerwomen first formed their own carnival committee and finished with the symbolic storming of the town hall. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At 11:11 a.m. on Thursday, women in Germany’s Rhineland region stormed their local governments, assuming power from their male counterparts and, in at least one case, seizing the key to the city, Salon reports. Sadly, it was purely symbolic. The matriarchal takeover is an annual Weiberfastnacht tradition, the pre–Mardi Gras Women’s Carnival Day. Other festivities include dressing up in colorful dirndls as well as cutting men’s ties off below the knot and then kissing them.