Carnival, or the “Fifth Season,” is in full swing in Germany. From Thursday, costumed revelers will be crowding the streets to celebrate parades and never-ending parties. Here is our guide to carnival and its greetings.
This can be from 11 February 2021 and continues until 17 February 2021.
Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.
Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself. But it has been celebrated in the organized fashion we know today for only about 190 years. The Greeks and the Romans celebrated joyous spring festivals in honor of Dionysus and Saturn with wine, women and song. The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice in order to pay homage to the gods and drive out the evil demons of winter. In later times, the Christians adopted these heathen customs. Lent, the period of fasting before Easter, was ushered in by carnival (carne vale = Farewell to meat!).
The Cologne Carnival takes place every year in Cologne, Germany, since the Middle Ages. The time of the carnival is officially declared open at Alter Markt square on the last Thursday before the Lent. A week-long street carnival, called “the crazy days,” usually takes place between Fat Thursday and Ash Wednesday. Through these days, Cologne residents go out in most strange, unique, fancy, and funny costumes.
The large carnival parade on Shrove or Rose Monday begins at 10.30 a.m. at the Severinstor located in the southern part of Cologne, namely at the Chlodwigplatz. It winds through the city, passing by the Neumarkt and ends at Mohrenstraße. The front rows are reserved for kids. Parade also features many colourful floats, and participants of the parade are throwing “Strüßjer” (flowers) and “Kamelle” (sweets) into crowds of spectators. Also don’t be surprised if a chocolate box or a bottle of Eau de Cologne will fly your way.
Every year, three people are selected to get the titles of Jungfrau, Prinz, and Bauer of the carnival. The carnival prince is the highest royalty of the festivities, leading the parades. He wears a crown with a peacock tail, a chain and a girdle, white pants, and a purple jacket. His float is the final one on Shrove Monday. The Jungfrau or “maiden” is usually a man dressed as a female. She has a crown and a mirror. Bauer is a peasant and he represents the large agricultural community of Cologne. This tradition has existed since 1883.
Aside from the main parade, there are plenty of smaller carnival events throughout the bars, clubs and local communities of Cologne. Women’s Carnival Day (Weiberfastnacht) brings out many young women dressed in festive clothes. On that day, men can get a Butzie (kiss) or lose their ties that can be cut with scissors. There is also an annual ghost parade on Saturday evening and a school parade. Cologne carnival is indeed one of the largest street festivals in Germany and the whole Europe. Source
9 Things You Should Know About Cologne’s Carnival
1. In Cologne, Silliness Is Serious Business
At the end of February, from Thursday* until Ash Wednesday, the city of Cologne is in an exceptional state. Carnival (in German Karneval) has been celebrated in Cologne since medieval times and is so famous that it’s often even called the Fifth Season. There are many German cities which celebrate carnival to varying degrees of intensity, but in Cologne, Carnival is serious business! Any normal activity stops during these days and is replaced by dancing, laughing, singing and serious drinking.
*While the hot phase starts only on Thursday, officially the Fifth Season is already declared on the 11th of November at 11:11.
2. The participants of the Carnival are called “Jecken”
A Jeck is any person that participates in the Carnival. The j is pronounced like the y in the English word yam. Contrary to members of offical Carnival Clubs (Karnevalsverein) who are called Karnevalisten, anyone can be a Jeck.
3. Three Rulers Preside Over the Mad People
During the carnival season, three symbolical rulers are elected. Together they are called the Trifolium (or Dreigestirn) which consists of the character of the Prince, the Peasant and the Virgin. The Prince is the prince of the carnival itself, the Peasant represents the wealth and the defensive strength of the city of Cologne, whereas the Virgin symbolizes the virtue and beauty of the city. And yes, the Virgin is always a man.
4. In Cologne the call of the carnival is “Alaaf”, not “Helau”
The call of Carnival is called Narrenruf (literally jester’s call).Each city that celebrates the Carnival in Germany and Switzerland has their own call. Also, each city (where carnival is taken seriously) is convinced of the superiority of their own carnival compared to the others, so if you want to join the fray, make sure to get the right call for the right city. For example, they shout Hellau in Mainz, while in Cologne it’s always and only: Alaaf!
5. Don’t wear a (costly) tie on Weiberfastnacht
On Weiberfastnacht (literally women’s carnival), (also known as Fat Thursday), it is customary for women to cut off the tie of any man they see. This custom dates back to a revolt by washer women in the year 1824. Everyone traveling in or through Cologne at this day wearing a tie is bound to wear only a stump by the end of the day. The practice, which on other days would be considered damage of property, is actually sanctified by local law for 24 hours.
6. Kiss or Be Kissed
Another carnival custom of Weiberfastnacht is the so called Bützchen, a kiss on the cheek dealt out by women to any man they meet. This should not be mistaken as a declaration of passion or any other carnal *cough* desires, but simply as a sign of carnivalistic camaraderie and joy. I’ve heard stories of men who have turned their head during a Bützchen, trying to receive a kiss on the lips, but they have been known to only get a slap in the face instead.
7. The Rosenmontagszug is Germany’s Biggest Carnival Parade
Traditionally held since 1823, the “Zoch” (Cologne dialect for Zug: train, procession, parade) is the oldest and biggest carnival parade in Germany, comprised of marchers, bands, horses, dancers and floats. The Rosenmontagszug, which takes place on Rose Monday (as the name says), is more than six kilometers long and attended by hundred-thousands of people.
8. 300 tons of “Kamelle” are thrown each year
During the Rosenmontagszug, every year 300 tons of Kamelle are thrown to the delight of children and other sugar-fiends. Kamelle can be anything from candy, paper flowers to animals, but mostly it’s just glorious glucose in all shapes and forms. Serious Jecken have developed various strategies to catch as much flying candy as they can, using anything from their bare hands to umbrellas:
9. The Floats Often Feature Political Satire
Part of the Rosenmontagszug are not just the traditional marching bands, horses and dancers but also giant floats, often showing recent events in a satirical light or poking fun at politicians. Source
Video: Rosenmontagszug Köln 2020
Think your friends would be interested? Share or reblog this story!
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of WITNESS TO HISTORY, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL (Paperback / Ebook), TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, THE ALL LIES INVASION Volume I (Paperback / Ebook), and THE ALL LIES INVASION Volume II (Paperback / Ebook), Odyssey Adolf Hitler, SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY, REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, Death of a City, and other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook), Odyssey Adolf Hitler, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, WITNESS TO HISTORY, TESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION), REICH AND WRONG, HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH, HEROES OF THE REICH, THE HOLY BOOK of ADOLF HITLER, The Reich Declaration of War on the USSR, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH Volume II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors and DEATH OF A CITY. Click REAL HISTORY.
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling Africa-related books THE LAST GLADIATORS Fiancés of Death (Paperback / Ebook); AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS: African Victims of the Liberal-Left (Paperback / Ebook); RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL European to Wall Street Colonialism (Paperback / Ebook); THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, and many other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers. Click Africa.
The dissident author’s books are available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTORE, and POETRY links.
We are in debt to our donors who finance the distribution of spin-free real news and fearlessly expressed views.
BUY FROM AUTHOR
MEGACAUST Michael Walsh. R. J. Rummel, Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder (Journal of Peace Research) 164 million people have been killed in cold blood this century by Capitalist / Communist governments.
SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY Michael Walsh. Covertly sponsored by Wall Street banks and the White House Bolsheviks seized Tsarist Russia (regime change). For 36 years news of Bolshevik atrocities and 70 million martyred Christians were censored by Western media. Lavishly illustrated, this expose reveals secrets removed from Western history books.
When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email email@example.com to receive your signed copy.
KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, or contact Michael Walsh: at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing and subscribing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Art-related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich Volume III: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.
BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 70 interesting book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW
New stories every day!
Categories: Ethnic traditions
Leave a Reply