Carnival in Cologne
Before the Catholic Easter, in mid-February, many European countries have held carnivals. With the largest scale carnival takes place in an old German city — Cologne. This folk festival is an analogue of Russian Shrovetide, carnival is accompanied by a riotous street parties and continues the pagan tradition of winter. Cologne no wonder it is considered one of the main centers of celebration of carnival in Germany, because it is a very old city, founded by the Romans.
Modern Cologne is famous for its exhibitions, fairs and traditional celebrations of the carnival, when the hidden hot temper of the citizens suddenly breaks out. In the program of the Cologne carnival always appear costumed performances and ceremonies, pageants and celebrations. To see this unforgettable show today tourists come from all over the world.
On the eve of the carnival
The inhabitants of Cologne are distinguished by their pedantry, conservatism and punctuality, but during their festivities of carnival dust literally spills out. Main carnival event takes place in the Old town – the oldest quarter of Cologne, where are famous places of interest. In the Old town is full of narrow cobbled streets which is nice to walk.
The main attraction of Cologne is considered to be the Cologne Cathedral, whose history dates back to Roman times. It is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Germany. Generally, a trip to Cologne in February impresses the opportunity not only to enjoy exciting carnival activities, but also look at the old buildings and monuments that abound in this city of plenty.
The so-called prelude to the Cologne carnival begins long before the main part of the festivities. Every year, November eleventh at eleven minutes past eleven on Central squares of Cologne and the streets adjacent to the Rhine, showing the first costumed. Since that time, organizers are starting to come up with the annual slogan of carnival music that will host the next carnival procession, costumes and discuss nominations of distinguished citizens on the role of “Prince carnival”.
Thus, to the carnival Germans themselves very seriously, as you prepare for the festivities for three or four months. After the opening of the carnival season in November around Cologne are “meetings of the carnival.” The members of these carnival committees, meetings and societies come together in a beautiful carnival costumes at long tables. Flowing the famous local beer called “kölsch”. The music, the applause and deafening laughter artists and bands.
During the winter season phlegmatic Germans literally transformed before your eyes, on the streets of Cologne is becoming more dressed up and painted people preparing for folk festivals. Gradually in Cologne attracts tourists and entertainers from all coastal towns of the Rhine. Everyone froze in anticipation of the culmination of the carnival, which falls on the last week before lent.
The main part of the Cologne carnival
Of course, to see firsthand the real carnival, you need to come to Cologne in the month of February. In late winter during the carnival week, it is customary to dress up in costumes, have fun and walk. Probably only these days You can see the normally restrained and careful of the Germans in the way of drunks and brawlers, quite catch the winds. Festivities and celebrations here leave no one indifferent!
The carnival begins in Altweibersommer or “Babi Thursday”. On this day, almost nobody works, and women are allowed to do whatever they only comes to mind. In particular, women in fancy clothes often encroach on men’s ties, cutting them with scissors, kiss on the streets of strangers, go in the men’s toilets and do a lot of harmless nonsense. The police in this day treat women very condescending, and no one seriously to consider complaints against them will not. The city is flooded with mummers, in the heart of Cologne are natural pageants.
However, the unconditional power of women over men last only one day. On Friday and Saturday festival pass into popular restaurants, pubs and zucchini Cologne. Of all the institutions coming cheerful carnival music. In held Sunday school and children’s carnival procession. His own climax Cologne carnival reaches Rosenmontag or “rose Monday”.
The city hosts thousands of people, almost all the inhabitants of the banks of the Rhine from small to large. Begins the famous carnival procession, which is headed by a “King of fools”. Large crowd of cheerful and colorful mummers people moving through the streets of the city and stretches for several kilometers. In the crowd you can see the princes, witches, cowboys and clowns — a variety of fancy dress costumes practically no limit. Cars on the streets, along which passes a crowd of thousands, painted in space rockets, ships, fortresses and castles. One can only wonder and admire the fiction of carnival participants.
For fun and exciting carnival procession see tourists and enterprising citizens, taking with him outside folding chairs and stools. In the Old town is gradually going to more than half a million people, painted or dressed in costumes. With carnival carts in the audience begin to fly sweets. The culmination of festivities in the “rose Monday” is the appearance of the main characters of the carnival — the Prince, the virgin and the Peasant.
The next day the Cologne carnival, the so-called “violet Tuesday”, the folk festival is slowly becoming more calm and quiet. But tonight the audience waits another important carnival event – the ceremonial burning of the straw effigy. It’s a kind of tradition of atonement for sins committed before the beginning of lent. On the last day of carnival, in “ash Wednesday”, taken to draw each other on the forehead ashy crosses. Members of the carnival procession and the audience moved to the restaurants and watering holes, where they to this day are traditionally served with fish dishes. And, of course, wonderful light top-fermented beer “kölsch”.
The carnival ends and lent begins. Now the whole year the residents of Cologne and the tourists have to wait for a new unforgettable carnival celebration. Cologne carnival began about 180 years ago, but the tradition of this national holiday dates back to Roman times. Going to Cologne in February, You will be able to see the unique and fiery action, to plunge into the atmosphere of the carnival and merriment!