11 Nov 2010

“Kölle Alaaf”

Today is the 11th of November and at 11.11 a.m. Cologne in Germany is going nuts. Every year they start celebrating Carnival at exactly this time. 80.000 viewers are expected.

The Cologne Carnival, the fifth season of the year, is taking place every year. This folk festival from Rhineland starts at the “11th in 11” at “eleven past eleven” and is rising step by step.

After the quiet Christmas time the different Carnival meetings and proms with performances of the so-called “Büttenreden”, dance performances and bands are starting just after New Year.

It’s Origin
The origin of the Carnival can be found in the spring Festival of the old German tribes. They dressed up very scary to banish the cold winter.  

At “Weiberfastnacht” this year on the 3rd of March the street carnival is opened. From this day on until “Aschermittwoch” which is on the 9th of March this “Jecken” are celebrating in Pubs and on the street.

The official highlight of the Carnival in Cologne is the “Rosenmontagszug” on the 7th of March, basically a huge procession with different colorful decorated wagons. 

The "Rosenmontagszug"
On the top of the wagons people are dancing and throwing lots of different kind of sweets in the cheering crowd screaming “Kölle Alaaf”, which means long lives Cologne and was originally a drinking toast. 

It is not only sweets; it is a huge party - all day long. People from all over the world are drinking, dancing and singing all together.

So if you’re still thinking about what to do in March 2011 – don’t hesitate, disguise yourself as a clown, cat or cowboy and celebrate Carnival in Cologne, Germany.

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