IN PICS: 'Cologne is colourful': Carnival kicks off amid rainy weather

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IN PICS: 'Cologne is colourful': Carnival kicks off amid rainy weather
Costumed 'Jecken' celebrate the opening of Carneval in Cologne. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Federico Gambarini

Rainy weather didn’t dampen the good mood: as per tradition, Carnival in and around Cologne began punctually at 11:11 am on Thursday. Here's how the event looked for the many 'revellers' who came to celebrate.


In Düsseldorf, the Möhnen (ladies' committee) stormed the town hall. In Cologne, the usually combination of prince, farmer and maiden let the revellers, or Carnival-goers, loose. But the crowds were somewhat smaller than usual due to the wet weather. 

READ ALSO: 10 German words you need to know for Cologne’s ‘Karneval’

Rainy weather didn't stop people from celebrating in Cologne on Thursday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Berg

"Either people are coming later or they have decided to celebrate at home, which is also a nice concept,” Cologne Carnival’s president Christoph Kuckelkorn told DPA.

However, the "Kwartier Latäng", Cologne's student neighbourhood which attracts mostly young revellers, was already filled to the brim even before the official start. 

‘Cologne is colourful’

Cologne's mayor Henriette Reker said that Carnival in the Cathedral City is always a celebration of diversity, which is also alluded to in many lively songs.  "I would like this to be the case throughout the year ahead." 

"Cologne is colourful,” Kuckelkorn said.

Cologne's mayor Henriette Reker opening the big event. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Berg

“We have all nationalities, all religious affiliations and orientations here. Cologne is an area of diversity. Any tendencies that want to limit this in any way whatsoever have no chance at all, and we are fighting for this. Carnival always stands firmly on the side of democracy."

Celebrating Carnival under the Cologne Cathedral. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Berg


200th anniversary of Washerwomen uprising

It was a very special Women's Carnival (Weiberfastnacht) this year in Bonn-Beuel, where the 200th anniversary of the so-called Washerwomen's Uprising was celebrated. 

In 1824, the washerwomen of Beuel rebelled against the patriarchy and the associated exploitation of women, founding a women's committee.


A woman celebrates 'Weiberfastnacht'. picture alliance/dpa | Rolf Vennenbernd

"The custom of the washerwomen discussing their husbands' gross offences against domestic peace and marital fidelity over coffee according to a fixed set of rules has survived the various political eras to this day," the city of Bonn said on Thursday. 

Every year since 1958, the women of Beuel have also named a representative from their own ranks, the washerwoman princess.

Police on duty

In Cologne, around 1,500 police officers, 200 public order officers and more than 1,000 private security staff were on hand to keep the onslaught of party tourists under control - including to prevent the notorious ‘wild peeing’ known to happen at the festivities.

For the first time this year, there was a street party on the Kölner Ringe boulevard to relieve the overcrowded student neighbourhood around Zülpicher Straße.

Young Carneval-goers celebrate on Zülpicher Straße. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Banneyer

The Carnival festivities stretch through next week, with the highlight being the Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) parades around the Rhine region.

READ ALSO: Karneval: Satirical parades ready to make Rose Monday debut


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