Düsseldorf’s Carnival is a massive over-the-top event, It’s crazy how Germans are into it.
Düsseldorf has a completely different vibe during the celebrations. There’re lights, music, costumes, ‘home-made’ floats, rides, fireworks, street food everywhere, parades, and lots and lots and lots of alcohol.
Who would guess that Carnival is such a big deal in Germany and that German people are really into it?
Sure that doesn’t have the glamour, weather, music, rhythm and the tropical vibe from Brasil but still is a massive event.
In Germany, the dispute is between Cologne’s carnival and Düsseldorf’s carnival, but best is not to ask around which one is the best one, since its a sensitive topic for some people. Apparently, they are eternal rival cities.
This may surprise you but Cologne’s Carnival is among the biggest in Europe, but someone said, what Düsseldorf lacks in size it makes up for in alcohol consumption.
There are several variations of Carnival throughout Germany. But the celebrations kick-off on November 11th at 11:11 am everywhere. But the crazy parties don’t really begin until February, also referred to as the “crazy days”
Dusseldorf is one of the fortresses of the Rhineland Carnival and drinking from early morning is part of the fun, during the week-long carnival, bars and pubs know no closing time.
What to Expect
The dates of the carnival vary from year to year but always starts on a Thursday before Ash Wednesday. This day is called Altweiberfastnacht (Women’s Carnival Day). And is when the ladies take over the City Hall and cut off men’s ties. Women in witch costumes “kidnap” the mayor and take control over the city. Followed by a street carnival in the Altstadt (Old Town)
If you think this is too crazy I’m afraid I need to say that this is just the beginning 🙂 From this point onward, it steadily gets more crazy, crowded, and loud.
On Saturday, is the Jugendumzug (Youth Procession), at Düsseldorf city center more oriented for families.
On Sunday is the “Karneval Sunday” in Konigsallee people start drinking and parting early in the morning, and locals get creative with ways to carry around their alcohol, have spectacular costumes and small ‘home-made’ floats
Rosenmontagszug or Rose Monday Parade
The parade comprises thousands of people in costumes marching around the city for hours, they include a giant decorated floats and people marching on foot through the city center and down Dusseldorf’s shopping street, Königsallee. Many of the floats from the Dusseldorf parade are political and often controversial.
It’s important to memorize the word- Helau, the local word for the Karneval greeting in Dusseldorf if you want to catch candies, chocolates, crips and other trinkets that they threw at the crowds, while you shout “Helau” and wave your hands.
Have you been to a carnival parade in Germany? What were your first impressions?
Do you have tips about Dusseldorf’s Carnival? Share in the comments below.
Now you just need to figure out what you’re going to wear next year…
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha
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