Cologne Carnival 2024 - Craziest Cultural Party in Koln, Germany.

Cologne is a cultural and historical city with more than 2000 years of history. Cologne is full of amazing medieval Romanesque churches. Its main attraction is the UNESCO Cologne Cathedral which is actually the most visited attraction in Germany. Cologne Carnival is one of Europe’s biggest, best and oldest carnivals. Every year millions dress up & spend six crazy days celebrating carnival in Cologne. Cologne Carnival is Germany’s craziest party. Every year for six crazy days before the onset of Lent, carnival fever takes over the entire city of Cologne. Carnival is the time of year when the city of Cologne lets loose, dresses up, sings their hearts out, dances the night away and drinks insane amounts of beer and schnapps. Cologne Carnival is almost the same age as the city of Cologne itself. People have been celebrating carnival in Cologne since the Middle Ages. The origins of Cologne Carnival started with Germanic tribes who used to celebrate the winter solstice to worship their gods and exile evil winter demons. Christians later adopted these customs giving them Christian meanings.
Cologne Carnival Season which is referred to by the locals as “the fifth season of the year” officially begin on the 11th November, at 11:11am and finishes on Ash Wednesday. The main highlight of the carnival season is the six days before the onset of Lent known as the “Crazy Days”. This is when carnival fever takes over the entire city, and for six days Cologne is filled with parties, parades and balls. During “The Crazy Days” millions of high-spirited Germans flood the streets of Cologne wearing the wackiest costumes, while the beer flows freely. Parties occur everywhere in Cologne, in the streets, public squares, restaurants and pubs which stay open for the entire duration of Cologne Carnival. They say the world turns upside down during Cologne Carnival, bad behaviour is not just tolerated but totally acceptable. You can spend the days and nights partying away. You can act like a drunken hooligan or mock the elites without consequence. Men can dress as women and the working class can parade through the streets like royalty.
If you want to join the carnival your costumes are essential. The wackier and more outrageous your carnival costume, the better. Costumes at Cologne Carnival are more about having fun rather than being fancy. The Cologne locals go all out when it comes to carnival costumes. Locals completely transform themselves with crazy costumes, wigs, makeup, masks or body paint. The entire city is dressed up, no matter your age. You will see all sorts of costumes-Star Wars characters, fairies, nuns, politicians, ghosts, animals, pirates, celebrities, anime, movie characters. Cologne Carnival takes place over six days, known as the ‘Crazy Days’. Carnival in Cologne is attended by 1.5 million people and it is  filled with parties, costumes, singing and drinking.
Saturday and Sunday are pretty quiet carnival days. A Cologne Carnival tradition is to have a “Frühschoppen“, which is an early morning drink that occurs at 10:30am at Neumarkt. On Saturday evening there is the “Geisterzug” or Ghost Parade, some masked balls, and parties galore. On Carnival Sunday, most of the Cologne neighbourhoods will see some form of parade march through their neighbourhood. Some of the school and neighbourhoods’ parades will be held in the Cologne City Centre, and there will be more parties and masked balls held in the evening. Monday is the peak of Cologne Carnival and the whole city of Cologne shuts down. Over 1.5 million people come out to watch the Rose Monday Carnival Parade, which is also the largest parade in Germany. The colourful spectacle that is the Rose Monday Cologne Carnival Parade starts. The parade features some 11000 participants, 100 music groups and loads of giant and elaborately designed floats that throw flowers and candy to the crowd. When the Rose Monday Carnival Parade finishes the celebrations go long into the evening, continuing in the many halls, restaurants, breweries and pubs around the city.
Tuesday is the last day of the Cologne Carnival. There will be a few smaller parades occurring in local Cologne neighbourhoods, but the main event is the ceremonial burning of the Nubbels. Nubbels are life-sized straw men. The Cologne locals symbolically burn the Nubbels, which rids everyone from their carnival sins. Whilst the Nubbels burn, carnival songs are sung by the crowd. The Burning of Nubbel ceremony officially symbolizes the end of Cologne Carnival. Ash Wednesday is the official start of Christian Lent. It is tradition for Catholics to go to church for repentance. It is also tradition to eat a fish dinner which is served in all the restaurants and pubs across Cologne. At midnight a torchlight procession is held which is a unique and beautiful experience. The 2024 Cologne Carnival will take place on Thursday February 08 until Wednesday February 14, 2024.


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