The Cologne Carnival is Germany's answer to the Rio Carnival in Brazil. So you see it's not only the South Americans who know how to party, the Germans put on a pretty good show. The Cologne Carnival reaches its zenith a week before Ash Wednesday.
At 11:11 am on that day, the city turns into frenzy with the carnival being declared open. The biggest party on earth begins and carries on for the next six days. Normally reticent and formal Germans, literally let down their hair and have the time of their lives, drinking, singing and dancing. On Ash Wednesday, the day the carnival ends, it is a must have fish - and that is what you will get on the menu of all pubs and restaurants. The party is officially over but the hangover is sure to last a little longer!
Cologne Carnival Celebrations
This carnival is known as one most celebrated street parties of all times. This colourful celebration attracts over a million visitors into the city from all over the world. Pubs and few restaurants stay open till early hours. The spirit of carnival sways in the streets, public squares, offices and houses of the city. People enjoy dancing and drinking to its fullest.
Processions through the streets are organised by locals and school children and thousands of people jam pack the streets to watch the spectacular show. The processions are enormously colourful, accompanied with witty novel ideas and gay costumes. Over 130 bands, hundreds of horses, brightly clad groups pass through the streets during this carnival. Millions of people stand on both sides of the street cheering, calling out for sweets and little bunches of flowers, dancing, eating and merrymaking. It is a fun time to be in Cologne!