27th February - 4th March 2014
The "fifth season of the year" as Carnival is called, begins on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. But the real "crazy days" do not start before the so-called Weiberfastnacht (Shrove Thursday), the Thursday before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday). The "crazy days" of Carnival are celebrated with parties on the streets, in public squares and in pubs. Closing times for pubs and bars are suspended for the duration of the festival.
Traditionally the gathering of the colourful Corps troops can be seen on Saturday at the Neumarkt. On Carnival Sunday school groups and borough parades take place all over the city. But the highlight of the street carnival is Rose Monday with the march of "Cologne's Dreigestirn" or Triumvirate - the Prince, the Peasant and the Maiden - in the kilometre-long Rosenmontag procession going through the city. Carneval ends two days later on Ash Wednesday.