Visit Germany's Carnival capitals from as little as 42 Euros
Spend diversifying days with the whole family in Germany! Discover fascinating German regions by celebrating a very special Carnival.
Travel throughout Germany with Quer-Durchs-Land-Ticket from as little as 42 euros. Tickets are also available online.
The Rhineland Carnival - from February 7 to 13, 2013
In the Rhineland and especially in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz, Carnival is considered as fifth season. The official Carnival season starts on November 11 at 11 minutes past the eleventh hour and ends on Ash Wednesday, after the six most important days of Carnival, "the Street Carnival". The high season, in which people wear fancy dress and go to the processions, starts on "Weiberfassnacht" (Women's Thursday) and reaches its climax on Rose Monday where processions are taking place in the Carnival capitals.
The time of merrymaking in the streets is officially declared open at downtown square Alter Markt on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent. Street Carnival, a week-long street festival, also called "the crazy days", takes place between the Fat Thursday (Weiberfastnacht) and ends on Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch). The highlight of the Carnival is Rose Monday (Rosenmontag), two days before Ash Wednesday. All through these days, Cologne folks go out masqueraded. The typical greeting during the festival is Kölle Alaaf!, a Kölsch phrase which can be translated as "Cologne alive!"
Duesseldorf is one of the fortresses of the Rhineland Carnival. More than 300 Carnival sessions and costume balls are celebrated in the state capital between 'Hoppeditz Awakening' November 11 (11.11) and Ash Wednesday.The highlight of the Jester (fools) season is the Rosenmontagszug (Rose Monday Parade) or Mardi Gras, more than two and a half kilometres long, with approximately 60 floats emblazoned with great artistic fantasy, and countless walking groups, meandering their way through the city.
Annually, about a million Jesters fools and visitors, line the pavements, shouting Helau (the local carnival greeting) hoping to catch plenty of Kamelle (confectionary) thrown from the various floats.
The Mainz Carnival (pronounce it as „Meenzer Fassenacht“) is a months-long city-wide Carnival celebration in Mainz, Germany that traditionally begins on November 11 but culminates in the days before Ash Wednesday in the spring. It is one of the largest Carnival events in Germany and, along with the Cologne and Düsseldorfer carnivals, Mainz is one of the three cities prominent in the rhenish Carnival tradition.Aside from the celebrations, parades, and jollity which are typical of Carnival traditions in many countries, the Mainz Carnival has an unusual emphasis on political and literary humour and commentary.
More information regarding the history of Carnival, Germany's fifth season and also general information on the Carnival capitals and their regional traditions can be found on following websites: