Ready to hear about the only language you can drink and more? Let me tell me about it and much more!
Germany being one of the safest travel destinations is one of the most visited countries. It is possible to catch festivals to trade fairs all year around. As well as historical museums and postmodern galleries you can find numerous remarkable landmarks across the country. Because there are so many immigrants, there isn’t a particular german cuisine; though you may come across to and try some of the incredible must-eats I will tell in a bit.
Cologne which is the 4th largest city of Germany is situated by the Rhine River. Unlike the rest of the Germany, Cologne or Kölle(in Colognian) has 5 seasons in a year. The fifth starts at 11th of 11th month at 11:11 and called Carnival Season. The most active part is the last week of the season, from Fat Thursday till Ash Wednesday (40 days prior to easter), Cologne residents and visitors like myself dress up and celebrate carnival.
Drinking famous local beer Kölsch, watching the giant street parades and wondering around the streets are few of the things you can do throughout the colourful week. While some dressed inhabitants calmly watch the parades from the window of their offices, some participate and collect the candies&chocolates&roses (Strüssje) thrown from the parade vehicles that are being decorated since the previous carnival. With over a million spectators and fantastic parades Cologne Carnival is one of the largest street festivals of Europe.
As well as Kölsch beer which names the carnival, Germans start drinking Kleiner Klopfer Shots(shots in little glass bottles with different flavours) and Tussilikör(mixture of yogurt, juice, vodka-tastes surprisingly so good!) by 9 a.m. of the holiday and party hard all week long.
You can dress up differently each and every day or just wear the same costume. Just like you can dress up individually or collectively. Either you already have a costume in mind or decide to be spontaneous about it, you just need to visit Der Karnevalswierts Köln. Double floored store has wigs, make-ups, countless accessorises, ready-to-wear costumes as well as patterns which you can buy to get creative!
I was super excited for my first carnival, so I dressed up differently each day. For my first day, with my red Thing 1 tee, red high knee socks and blue wig; I dressed up as Thing 1 from the movie The Cat in the Hat. Even though I know that not everyone knows about this movie, since I watched it multiple times, I was surprised by the amount of people who thought I was referencing completely other characters.
For second day, I was a yellow M&M with a group of lovely german women. As a bag of M&Ms, 8 of us wore white glows and colourful eyelashes and went to the Kölschfest. It is the huge entertainment tent with beer towers in it. I’ve got to say that this was the day I had the most fun, special thanks to the group costume and fun tent.
For third day, I decided to go local and dressed as a bavarian girl-of course with braided hair. This is the day we went to the Blauer Affe Karnevalsparty which is one of the biggest Karneval parties in Bonn-Beuel. Fun fact: if you don’t wear a costume, you can’t get in.
Finally, just because there isn’t a particular german cuisine, it doesn’t mean german chefs don’t have any tricks in the kitchen. German buns and Apfelberliners are the excellent examples of delicious german pastries you can find in any pastry stores all year around. Besides, there are some pastries which can be found only in particular seasons or places. Krapfen is one of these rare species; it can only be found in the carnival season in Cologne.
If you’re looking for a festival around February in Europe, this is it!
Get there, dress up, enjoy Kölsch beer and repeat everything thrice-that’s a carnival thing!
Kölle Alaaf Kölle Alaaf Kölle Alaaf!