Carnival craze

When I mention Cologne Carnival to foreigners (by whom I mean anyone not originally from or having spent some time in the area of greater Cologne), I’m often faced with large amounts of ignorance. Germans from other regions have heard of it but are mostly wary because they have a mental image of drunk bodies lining streets and door steps. People from other countries, such as the UK, often ask ‘When you say “carnival”, what do you actually mean?’ For the purpose of guidance through the maze of misunderstanding to do with the ‘5th season’, as locals refer to it, here are some facts about Karneval in Kölle.

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In einer Woche ist Aschermittwoch – das Ende der ausschweifenden Karnevalszeit und der Beginn der entbehrungsreichen Fastenzeit. Am Tag zuvor, dem Karnevals- oder Veilchendienstag (merke: „Fastnacht“ oder „Fasching“ heißt es im Rheinland niemals!) , gilt es zwei Dinge zu tun: erstens, noch einmal richtig die Sau ‘rauslassen und, zweitens, die sündigen Taten ins Jenseits befördern. Doch was hat das alles mit Pfannkuchen zu tun? Read more