With the arrival of November and despite the cold weather, the German city of Cologne remains warm and cheerful thanks to its famous carnival. So if you´re one of those folks who enjoy partying till the wee hours of the morning, Cologne has to be your next destination.
Although Cologne carnival has its beginnings with the establishment of the city itself, when the Romans assembled wheels on boats (carus navalis) while parading the city to worship Izida, the Goddess of Fertility, it is only until 1823 that the Venetian masquerade balls influenced the carnival with a costume tradition to make it what it is today.
Photo: Martin Terber
All the inhabitants of the beautiful city of Cologne eagerly await the arrival of November to celebrate their beloved carnival. On the 11th of November at 11 AM with 11 minutes and 11 seconds, this crazy carnival, famous among most Germans, begins. This memorable date is also known as the beginning of the so-called fifth season (The carnival season).
After the famous 11-11-11 opening, celebrations are suspended for the period of Advent, Christmas and New Year, to continue on Thursday before Lent with a colorful feast at the famous city’s Alter Markt Square. “The crazy days”, as it is called this event, takes place between fat Thursday and Ash Wednesday.
On Fat Thursday, the famous Weiberfastnacht is celebrated. This is a day when the women of Cologne have the right to cut the ties of the gentlemen who were cross their way, as a symbol of control over men, so if you have to wear a tie during Weiberfastnacht, it is better to use the oldest you got.
Rose Monday or Rosenmontag takes place on the famous Shrove Monday. During Rosenmontag, Cologne residents hit the streets to enjoy a traditional costume parade filled with lively music and dances, which combined with the cheering of the attendees, who enjoy the candies ” Kamelle ” and flowers ” Strüßjer ” thrown from floats during the parade, make the perfect atmosphere for endless enjoyment.
The ” Festkomitee Kölner Karneval ” is the carnival organizing committee, which each year is responsible for choosing the three most important carnival characters called “Kölner Dreigestirn” die ” Jungfrau ” (the Virgin ) , der ” Prinz ” ( the prince ) and der ” Bauer ( the farmer ) who precede major parades throughout the week.
“Kölle Alaaf” which means something like ” Cologne above all” is how locals greet each other during the fifth season, this greeting comes from Kölsch (Cologne’s dialect) and it is always accompanied by a sip of Kölsch, which is also the name of the delicious local beer.
The carnival is not only a tradition rooted in the culture of Cologne’s people, but is also an powerful industry of sweets, drinks, flowers and costumes, which not only makes thousands of Euros in a few days, but also promotes the city as one of the most cheerful of the continent.
Rent apartments in Cologne city and enjoy one of the most joyful carnivals anywhere in the continent.
Here are some apartment recommendations for your trip to Cologne: