Witness Cologne’s carnival celebrations
If you’re planning a November or February visit to Cologne, you will experience the sights and sounds of the exciting, traditional Carnival. This lively event is also known as ‘the fifth season of the year’, during which the city’s residents and visitors take to the streets for colorful parades and street parties. The downtown area of the city is flooded with exciting costumes, music and ginormous crowds.
Glistening events and paradesThis fun-filled time in the city officially begins at 11:11 on November 11 each year, with the celebrations starting at Heumarkt square. The opening event features performances by famous musicians and appearances by ‘the Cologne Trio’ (Dreigestirn) – the carnival figures of the Priest, Peasant and Maiden.
The carnival is suspended during the holidays, but starts up again in February. Events consist of a week’s worth of celebration known as ‘the Crazy Days’, including Women’s Carnival Day and the Parade. It all culminates with the Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) Parade.
Women’s Carnival Day (Weiberfastnacht)At the Women’s Carnival Day, you can experience the party the way it was historically. Early in the morning on the commute to work, you’ll spot several local women in lavish fancy dress. According to tradition, women at the street parties may approach any man and give them a festival kiss known as a Bützje. But not all men will get a kiss! Women can also choose to come with a pair of scissors and cut off a man’s tie.
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Cologne is situated within easy reach of the downtown area, where the main events take place.