Cologne Carnival is one of the largest and most popular in Germany.
Carnival has been renowned in Cologne for centuries and today there are over 160 carnival societies, which all manage carnival festivities.
There are parties everywhere in the streets, pubs and publics squares. Everyone clothed in bright costumes.
Closing times for bars and pubs don’t exist during the carnival meaning that lots of fun takes place over these 6 days.
It all starts with a day for the ladies Weiberfastnacht (Shrove Thursday) where you’ll see women in fancy dress heading for the Alter Market where Carnival publicly opened by the Dreigestirn (the Prince, the Peasant and the Virgin)
The best moment is the parade through the city center on Rose Monday (4th March). The climax of Carnival with the big, official parade – A colorful spectacle with thousands of people in fancy dress.
The parade begins at the Severinstor in the southern part of the city (Südstadt). It starts at 10:30, travels a route of 6 km, and has over 70 garlanded floats and takes more than 3 hours.
The float members throw flowers, sweets and other small gifts to the people. The characteristic material thrown from the floats includes “Strüßjer” (bunches of flowers) and “Kamelle” (sweets), which are demanded by the crowds by shouting “Kamelle”. Also chocolate boxes and bars, bottles of Eau de Cologne and countless other small gifts are thrown from the floats as well.