Travel. Photograph. Tech Community

Colors of Düsseldorf: Carnival’18

Ich wollte das zu meinem ersten deutschen Blog: Farben von Düsseldorfer Karnevals’18 machen. Aber ich bin immer noch nicht sicher !!!! So I switch to English! 🙂

HELAU! My first carnival 2018 in Germany! Before I moved to Düsseldorf in August 2017, I had heard a lot about the carnival craze here in this part of the country. Düsseldorf is said to be one of the fortresses of the Rhineland Carnival (let alone Köln and Mainz). Now it was time to live it! The carnival had actually started already on 11th November 2017 when Hoppeditz awakes. It ends on the Ash Wednesday on 14th February 2018. The motto of this season is Jeck erst recht’ (Carnival more than ever). The last one week of carnival in February is when Düsseldorf celebrates in costumes. People drink, laugh, dance, kiss and rejoice. It starts on 8th February (Altweiber/Women’s Carnival) and ends on 14th February 2018 (Ash Wednesday ). I spent a beautiful long weekend in Düsseldorf going around with my camera and soaking into the brilliant ambiance!

Opening of the Kinder und Jugendumzug (Children’s & Youth Procession) on Saturday at Altstadt (old town).

Carnival Sunday ‘Kö-Treiben’ on Sunday at Königsallee.

Rosenmontagszug (Rose Monday Parade) on Monday.

So let me start from Thursday, 8th February. It was the day when office saw employees in costumes pull off a workday. The drinking and rejoice began in the office kitchen at sharp 11:11am!

The Altweiberfastnacht (Women’s Carnival Day) occasion is celebrated today when the women of the city traditionally ‘storm’ the Rathaus (city hall), followed by a street carnival and drinking in the Altstadt (Old Town). There also exists a tradition where women chop off men’s tie on the street!

I was out with my camera on the streets on Saturday afternoon. Kids and families had filled the old town with costumes and get-ups.

People met and greeted. There was an amazingly positive and happy vibe in the air! I loved observing the costume stories everywhere around.

And I decided to get myself a small Panda hat! 😀

Düsseldorf saw the Kinder und Jugendsumzug (Children’s and Youth Procession) on Saturday.

The young and the old carnival revellers (“Jecken“) gathered to marched through Düsseldorf’s city centre.

The children and the families seemed to have a gala time.

Not to forget, the kids could shout ‘Helau’ (the local carnival greeting) and catch bags of sweets and candies showered from the umzug.

Every school from Dusseldorf had a theme to offer. The energy and enthusiasm from toddlers to grandparents was absolutely commendable!

There were musical troops performing live music as a part of the march.

There were toddler stories everywhere. Something that I loved to observe and smile!

Live music by now had become a part of the carnival mood through the city. The next day was the Carnival Sunday ‘Kö-Treiben’. I had read that Düsseldorf’s carnival has a longstanding tradition. In 1825, the first on the Sunday before the grand parade, the Kö-prince was elected. Thus the first Rose Monday Parade organised.

Beautiful Königsallee hosted the informal street carnival with spectacular costumes and small ‘home-made’ floats.

Several hundreds of people gathered together at 11:11, in fancy dresses. Many brought their own music and food with them, some brought decorative handcrafts as a means of transporting them.

There were innovative stalls setup all around which was a treat to the eyes.

Another highlight of the street Carnival is the barrel race in the district of Niederkassel which on the Sunday features Carnival-goers running in clogs with a cart and barrel. I did not have the chance to experience this here.

The innocent cub stories continued bringing smile on the face!

It was the day of the family with kids and parents rejoicing! A perfect Carnival Sunday!

The next day was the big day of the carnival. My friends were generous enough to paint my nose black, to add to my panda look! 😀 On Monday, 12th February, was the Rosenmontagszug (Rose Monday Parade), something the city has been preparing for some good time.

I hardly managed to take any photographs today. This YouTube video brings out the ambiance pretty nicely. Its a must watch! It is one of the grandest procession I could imagine. Decorated floats and countless revelers on foot parading through the city.

About a million Jesters ‘fools’ and visitors, lined up the pavements to shouting ‘Helau’ (the local carnival greeting) hoping to catch plenty of ‘Kamelle’ (confectionery, sweets, and candies) thrown from the various floats. There were literally candy showers!

This grand parade lasting for 4-5 hours had tremendous organisation- numerous policemen and medical attendants did a commendable job.

These politically themed floats of satirist Jacques Tilly are famous the world wide. A giant float at this German carnival didn’t hold back in mocking Trump’s Russia problem too!

It turned out to be more than 3km long parade with approximately 60 trucks of artistic fantasy and countless walking groups in costumes, music, drinks and candies .

It was also not very long that I found my soulmates Pandas randomly on the street! 🙂

On Ash Wednesday, the carnival ends with the hope of saying goodbye to winter and welcoming summer. The fools get together to burn and mourn ‘Hoppeditz’, the local figure of an eloquent jester, hoping that the waiting time until the next carnival will be shorter than ever!