Köln Karneval

Karneval - Fasching - Fastnacht - Fasnet - Fun

the "Fifth Season of the Year"

Global Carnaval Links
Koln is the media capital of Berlin and with Berlin is well know for its gay culture. The annual gay pride event, Christopher Street Day , is said to attract more outside visitors than even the karneval

because the people of Cologne regularly go mad once a year for five days, they are much saner the rest of time


Carnaval in Germany ||  Cologne Karneval || Cologne City guide || LINKS || Kölsch Dialect
While well known Carnivals are held in southern German cities, and in the Rhineland cities of Mainz , Aachen, Bonn and Dusseldorf.  Along the Rhine every town has a "Prinz" and "Prinzessin" (prince and princess) who command a uniformed guard, the "Prinzengarde" (prince's garde), The biggest and zaniest Rhine Karneval and for that matter, in all of Europe, is held in Köln (Cologne), Germany's oldest city where the Karneval is annually synthesized into a vivacious work of art.

The first written record of the Köln carnival is from the year 1341. Köln has the Dreigestirn (three Stars): the Carnival Prince (known as Seine Tollitдt, ‘His Craziness’), the Bauer (peasant) and the Jungfrau (virgin). The Jungfrau has always been a man. It is a great honour to be one of eleven (11) members of the Dreigestirn, and they are elected each October from the members of Köln’s 105 historic carnival associations.
In 1823, concerned citizens, mainly of the educated elite, formed Karneval societies for the purpose of creating a new image. The Romantic spirit of the times and renewed interest in classic Greece and Rome, provided inspiration for Karneval themes. A symbolic figure, Prinz Karneval, assisted by two other picturesque figures, the Kouml lnische Bauer (Cologne Peasant) and the Kouml lnische Jungfraü (Cologne Virgin, portrayed by a man) became the principals
The Köln carnival involves hundreds of street and pub-parties, where you come in costume. Many special fund-raising events are held in large halls. Your costume planned for Carnaval Monday can be unique or a group activity for on Rosenmontag you'll  stand out for lack of a costume.

Officially it starts am elften elften elf Uhr elf (11th November at 11:11am) and continues in a fairly low-key way for about three months before the Tolle Tage (Crazy Days) which climax on Rosenmontag, the 42nd day before Easter. Koln a huge party that starts on Thursday (Altweiberfastnacht) and ends on Tuesday (Veilchendienstag) with the Nubbelverbrennung (burning the spirit of carnival to atone for the sins committed during the carnival session). Millions will be on the streets dressed in costume to cheer their royalties and friends on floats or marching in the parade for the Rose Parade on Carnival Monday.

After the official initiation in November, Karneval other important countdown dates are New Year's Day January 1st and the Festival of the Three Kings or Magi also know as the Epiphany), on January 6th.

 Weiberfastnacht (women’s carnival night) is the Thursday before Rosenmontag, and it is tradition that women are allowed to cut off the tie of any man within reach, and to kiss any man they want to. This day also signals the beginning of the five days of Carnival with nearly 50 processions leading up to Monday's Rose Monday Parade
About 1.5 million people go to the Rosenmontag parade in Köln and many more watch the festivities on TV. For the many Karneval associations their biggest effort has gone into constructing their  for the Rosenmontag parade. The
floats not only try to be beautiful but also represent satirical, political and traditional topics . As the floats pass by, the costumed revellers aboard pelt the street crowds with throws and sweets while they sing the many old Karneval songs.
 The Mariechen, acrobatic dancing troupes of girls entertain the crowds as part of the parade. In the parade the Carnival Prince has a royal bodyguard who are dressed in uniforms of the early 1800s. The
 Prinzengarde bodyguards remind the crowd of the city’s tradition of anti-militarism. This included disobeying orders by turning in the wrong direction and stuffing flowers into rifle-barrels.
Rosenmontag is not an official holiday but in areas of Germany that celebrate Karneval, workers usually get the day off.

On Shrove Tuesday the crazy couple will move with their retinue into the Rathaus (City Hall) to govern until midnight, when the merrymaking and foolishness comes to a sudden halt, yielding to the observation of Lent.

Carnival is a regional festival and is celebrated inDownload different ways according to different local traditions. It’s known as:

Karneval in the Rhineland area; the backbone of the German carnival, the Guilds of Fools enthrone their own princes and princesses to guide the fool’s folk into a "devilish" season. It all culminates in the Rosenmontagzügen (The Rose-Monday Parade known or Carnival Monday just before Ash Wednesday)

Fastnacht around the city of Mainz ('fasting night', or eve of Lent, the period of fasting);

Fasnet in Swabia (south-west region of Germany) and in the south-west of the state of Bavaria;

Fosnat in the Franken region (northern Bavaria), and as

Fasching around the city of Munchen and in Austria.

Fasteleer or Fastelofvend: Karneval in Cologne.


AIR: Cologne/Bonn airport (CGN) is the fastest-growing airport in Germany, and is the base of operation for a number of lowcost airlines like GermanWings or Hapag-Lloyd Express.
TRAIN: Cologne is connected to Germany's fastest railway line, the ICE3 line which travels at up to 300km/h.
CAR: Don't go to Cologne by car. Use the excellent subway & transit system
Download Find much of the respected book on-line rough guide for Germany here (little on Karneval or its cities however)


www.koeln.de/ || fr/ ||en/ official city guide
"The world feels at home in Cologne, where people meet for a Kölsch, a chat or simply a laugh. Life in Cologne is uncomplicated and vivacious - the tolerance and cosmopolitanism of its inhabitants proverbial."

Get up to speed quickly with good outside links too

events by willkommeninkoeln.de in English

In German
Stadtrevu.de, alternative town magazine. Best event calendar!

Willkommen in Köln bei Cologne-In.deCologne-In.de alternative online mag with city map and deep directories

Kölner Stadtanzeiger, daily newspaper

In the middle of August, the concentration of music and media attract more than two million young fans to Cologne for the Musikfest am Ring (music festival on the Ring mile). In these few days, the city is transformed into a gigantic open-air location. There is also the opportunity to attend another fair: Popkomm, which has become the world’s biggest trade fair for popular music. In July, almost a tradition, gays and lesbians from all over Europe wildly celebrate their Christopher Street Day in Cologne; over 750,000 people are on the streets for this event in Cologne. Another of Cologne’s long-established events is the Longest Table in Cologne (Längste Deesch vun Kölle), a street festival in the Severinstrasse, in the heart of the Südstadt district.
Karneval Link Resources  ||TOP||
Robert Shea from St. Louis USA has done terrific job explaining , MO)http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/karneval.htm

http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/kolner.htm http://hs.riverdale.k12.or.us/~dthompso/german/karneval/




Download fecc-deutschland.de
International Cultural Exchange for Carnival Cities based in
Add-a-Link FECC-deutschland forum fotos and errata at Carnaval.com's aforum.com

Kölner Karneval


"Kölsch" Karneval in the Cologne dialect:||TOP||
Kölsch refers to both the local dialect and beer

Alaaf - Helau
originally the greeting of the City of Cologne in the Rhineland, it means "Lebe hoch" and has become a Karneval greeting. It's simply a general expression of cheer and joyfulness. Koelle Alaaf: a "cheer to the City of Cologne."
Hüürens!/Luurens!/Saachens! = Hear! Look! Say!, used in a virtually equal manner to get attention from someone.
Et hät no immer joot jejange = Somehow, it always went well in the end
oldest Cologne Karneval motto "Ey Lustig Fröhlich - ELF."

die Büttenrede The tradition of humorous, rhyming Büttenreden began in Cologne. An entire industry, complete with books and Web sites, has grown up around it.

närrische Saison the foolish/silly season

Carnival guilds or societies organize and run the season's events.

Elferrat: (Council of Eleven of plan the festivities in consultation with the Karneval societies.

Funken  Prinzengarde (prince's guard) created as a parody of the Prussian drill. Dressed in 18th century uniforms with red coats, white wigs and three-cornered hats, this drill team carries out some irreverent maneuvers, occasionally bending over and wagging their posteriors at authority.

Funken Rote : the oldest and largest Carnival society in Cologne. Members of the corps are divided up into 4 companies wearing flashy red and white uniforms. The 4 symbols for each division are; a knitted sock, an onion, a spinning top and a champagne cork. The official language of the "Rote Funken" is "Kölsch," the local dialect. Every Funk has a Kölsch nickname. In 1823, they


Jeck: person born in Cologne.
Not born in Cologne, but living there.
All others: "Fründe" (Freunde), "Jäste" (Gäste) or "Besök" (Besuch).

Büttensitzung: The main feature of a Büttensitzung is that a speaker literally stands inside of, and speaks from a barrel. "Bütten" (barrel) speakers are expected to be  funny,  and clever. The speeches range from funny to satirical and highly political. The speakers enjoy "Narrenfreiheit" (fools' liberty), the license of a court jester who had the liberty to speak unpopular truths as long as they are humorous.  

Tünnes & Schäl  two Karneval characters whose job it is to poke fun at the good citizens of Cologne. Tünnes, should be casually attired and while simple and good natured, he's no dummy. Whereas Schäl, is correct in derby hat and tie, displays proper, conforming respectability

Funken Mariechen (Mary of the Sparks,) high stepping dancing majorettes, girls and women dressed in white wigs, three-pointed hats and red uniforms. There are now acrobatic competitions as part of the Carnival

: fools' sessions or good Karneval party

Zoch: (from Zug) parade.  first came together to poke fun at the stiff Prussian military.

Sitzung: meeting of Faschingsverein, where there is music, singing, dancing and Schunkeln.

EAU de Cologne - the perfumes- a strong fresh odor... Kölinischwater

Schunkeln: you link arms with the persons next to you and swing with the music.

Nubbelverbrennung: burning the spirit of carnival to atone for the sins committed during the carnival session


Weiberfastnacht: Carnival Thursday, the first day of the women's carnival. Tie wearers beware for, according to custom, your tie can be be cut off. Other names in Germany for women's carnaval are Dorendonderdach, feister phinztag, gumpiger donstag, kleine fastnacht (Oberrhein), fetter Donnerstag, schwerer Donnerstag (Rheinland), Semperstag, tumbe fassnacht, unsinniger Donnerstag, Weiberdonnerstag, wuetig Donnerstag, Wuscheltag (Basel), zemperstag, zimpertag

Rosenmontag or Fastelovendszoch: Rose Monday Parade. Rosenmontag actually has nothing to do with roses, but is derived from rasen, to rave or rage! While Cologne Karneval peaks on Monday, in the South Fasching  reaches its climax on Shrove Tuesday

Faschingsdienstag or Veilchendienstag (Shrove Tuesday) it all ends with the "Kehraus" (from auskehren, to sweep out) when, by the stroke of midnight, the merrymaking comes to an end. ||TOP||


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Carnaval in Germany ||  Cologne Karneval || Cologne City guide || LINKS || Kölsch Dialect || www.carnaval.com