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Kölle Alaaf! Cologne above all! This famous “Narrenruf” (call of the jester) signals the start of Carnival season and in the coming days will be heard everywhere in the metropolis on the Rhine. When you ask where this curious phrase comes from, even the locals scratch their heads.
Cologne – Capital of the Carnival
Never mind! Who wants to spend the “fifth season” immersed in linguistic studies anyway? The fact is, the Cologne Carnival (also called “Fastelovend”) is, after the Oktoberfest in Munich, the biggest craziness Germany has to offer during the year. Since November 11, at 11:11 a.m. – the official start of the Carnival season – the entire city has been working towards this incredible climax of the spring. In the five days and nights before Ash Wednesday the colorful revelers erupt into a frenzy, what with all the parades, Carnival events, and unbridled celebrations. All the shops are closed, employees don’t go to work. You might even meet your boss striding through the streets dressed up as a Jedi knight, establishing law and order with his light saber. Read More »