Published on February 2, 2011 | by Francy0
In Cologne, Carnival is Mad!
The madness of Carnival in Cologne, which has nothing to envy to the famous ones of Rio or Venice, starts with a superstitious number, 11. It is indeed on the 11th of the eleventh month of the previous year, at 11:11, that the mayor hands the keys of the city over the Prince of Carnival, which will give them back only at the end of the carnival of the following year.
So in Cologne, preparations for the Carnival begin 4 months earlier. This year the peak of the festival is from March 3 to 8, in particular on the 7th, with the spectacular parade of the ‘Rose Monday‘. On that day, the centre of the city is crossed by a huge procession of allegorical floats and masks, which have been prepared in the preceding months. The protagonists of the festival are the characters that since 1883 govern the Carnival of Cologne: these are the Dreigestirn, namely Jungfrau, Prinz, and Bauer, respectively, the Virgin, Jack and the Prince.
For Cologne, Carnival is so important that it is called the ‘fifth season’ of the year, and dates from the early 1800s when the first association of carnival was founded, the Festordnendes Komitee. Carnival in Cologne has its traditional greeting, ‘Alaaf Kölle!’, But every year is characterized by a different motto. This year’s one is “Köln hat was zu beaten”, Cologne is hard to beat.
The days of the festival are called ‘Tolle Tage‘, crazy and amazing days: and this is real, as all citizens do not miss a chance to disguise themselves and become more or less famous characters, and in all the squares are set up stages on which acrobats, jugglers, clowns and musicians can perform, but also all those who want to give vent for a moment, to their healthy madness.
Claiming a vacant room in one of the hotels in Cologne in the days of Carnival is, indeed, a madness … if you have not booked in advance.