Oh! Those dastardly religious, how dare they stop me drinking. Think ye have it bad here? T’is far worse in parts of Germany.
Yes, we’ve heard you all cluck on Facebook about what an invasion of personal autonomy and adulthood this dry Good Friday lark is. But spare a thought for our friends in Germany – where a centuries old dance ban called the Tanzverbot is still actively enforced by the police. There have been flashmobs in various cities like Frankfurt looking for the laws to be rescinded operating under a banner organised by the Pirate Party, the Greens and others.
In Bavaria and Cologne the ban lasts for a number of days, taking in Monday, Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Berlin is a little less severe, with the 24 hour party people being asked to just go home between 4am and 9pm on Good Friday itself.
What’s the thinking behind the ban today? Well, if this interview with the CDU Parlimentary leader in Hesse is anything to go by, its just a ruthless clutching to centuries old faith in the midst of secular onslaught.
Good Friday is by our law all day long silence. This makes sense. This is not just a day off. This day has its center are thought in the commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, this in turn can only be shared with the resurrection at Easter three days later. Therefore, it is also a question of religious feelings, that this silence, the return-in-itself, the reflection is not at the center of their own Christian faith publicly disturbed. Incidentally, this is the basic law and the Hessian constitution explicitly protected.
It’s not like they really need an explicit ban on dancing here, booze licensing and dancing are so intertwined that cutting off the taps for the day knocks the head on dancing venues too. Bar for the more hedonistic among us, who stack up on enough booze to quench a conquering army and head off to thrash someone’s gaff for the night.
Check out this video news report from the Wall Street Journal.