Karneval

Karneval

Altstadt

There is no celebration more widely attended and anticipated in Cologne than Karneval, the German version of Mardi Gras. Cologne's so-called "fifth season" of the year always begins on November 11th at 11:11 am, but the festivities do not really kick into high gear until Weiberfastnacht (Fat Thursday) and last till Ash Wednesday. They include parades, costumes, general city-wide drunkenness, parties of all kinds and endless opening hours for the pubs and bars. The tradition at the center of it all, which shouldn't be missed by tourists, is the "crowning" ritual of the Carnival Triumvirate (always a Prince, a Peasant, and a Maiden) and the kilometer-long parade that follows.

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