"Köln carneval" Cologne Local Custom Tip by Sjalen

Cologne Local Customs: 79 reviews and 105 photos

by Sjalen

In February each year, the city explodes with fun as the famous carneval finishing events takes place. I have not yet experienced this but I hope to one day as most of my family comes back telling me what fun they had. Women cut men's ties off and there is an almost endless parade with candy throwing and general sing-a-long, followed by long nights in brewhouses. This is when the most Colonian songs of them all is heard in its proper situation as "Viiiiiva Colonia" is sung just about everywhere. In fact, if you want to make it as a local musician in Cologne, you have to have a carneval hit. Otherwise people simply won't remember you and you will drown in the flow of songs. The carneval season opens in mid November in Heumarkt near the Altstadt, but the real happening is in February. Even the Central station has a carneval souvenir stall during the season. Carneval times is a great period for getting to grips with the Cologen local dialect too as several colloquial expressions are heard, notably "Kölle! Alaaf!" which is shouted everywhere. This comes from the 16th century when Furst Metternich wrote that "Cöllen al aff", or Cologne above all. Yup, quite proud of themselves they are...

Website: http://www.karneval.de/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 15, 2006
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