Karneval in Köln

It's a festival that has many names. In some places it is called Fasching, in others it is called Fastnacht  or Fassenet. In some places, including New Orleans, it is called Mardi Gras. But in Köln (Cologne) the party is known as Karneval.

In January and February, many meetings take place, with much drinking, singing, swaying arm in arm, and laughing. Folk characters tell their funny stories and sing songs. The Thursday before Ash Wednesday is known asWeiberfastnacht  (Women's carnival). On Friday and Saturday big fancy-dress balls take place. On Sunday afternoon the quarters of the city and the schools have their special street parades. The official parade on Monday is the climax of the Drei tolle Tage  (three crazy days). The parade is four to five miles long, and winds through the city with floats, horses, bands, jesters, and the Fools Guild in traditional uniforms. Dense crowds on the sidewalks laugh, drink, sing, flirt, scream, and try to catch candy raining down around them. The city is turned upside down, and business comes to a stop.

Links to other Karneval pages.

Carnival rides at the Domplatz

Kölner Dom in background

Plenty of food is sold!

More food!

Group costumes are popular

Friends often dress alike

The Karneval parade through town is one of the largest in Germany

It's televised in the whole country

People in floats throw candy

Cool masks!

At night, scarecrow-like puppets are burned as scapegoats for people's sins.

All photos Copyright: Koeln-Online 1996

Fasching and Karneval Links

Blaue Funken Homepage
Bavarian Fasching Page
Bavarian Fasching Page (auf Deutsch)
Fasching - Fastnacht - Karneval
Kölner Karneval (auf Deutsch)
Alaaf - Karneval in Köln (many pix)
Mainzer Fastnacht (auf Deutsch)
Fasching in Köln, Mainz & Düsseldorf - Munich Found
Karneval elsewhere in the world

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