What happens on Women's Carnival Day? When do the famous parades take place? During the "crazy days" the "fifth season" culminates into a huge public festival. People dress up, sing local songs and simply have fun.
Women's Carnival Day, Thursday, February 4th 2016
This is the day when you get to experience the Carnival in its traditional form. Early in the morning, the streets are alive with ladies in fancy-dress on their way to the office, their place of work or to shops, and from 10.00 a.m. they all head towards the Alter Markt.
At 11.11 a.m. the street Carnival is officially opened at the Alter Markt by the three principal Carnival figures: the Prince, the Peasant and the Virgin (collectively known as the "Dreigestirn"). At 15.00 p.m., the Carnival play "Jan un Griet" at the Severinstor in the Südstadt. In the evening: parties and masked balls. See photos
Friday, February 5th 2016
In the morning, you might come across the odd "survivor" of "Weiberfastnacht" if you go for a stroll through the city. A tour of the city is always worthwhile: coach trips from the Tourist Office from 14.00 p.m. In the evening: masked balls and parties.
Saturday, February 6th 2016
Following a traditional Cologne "Frühschoppen" or early-morning drink, at 10.30 a.m., you should head for the "Funkenbiwak" at Neumarkt. The city is overflowing with "Jecken" or Carnival figures by the afternoon. In the evening: "Geisterzug" (Ghost parade), parties, parties and more parties. See photos
Carnival Sunday, February 7th 2016
Parade through the city centre from 11.00 a.m. School groups in fancy dress and original costumes with clubs and schools. In the evening: parties and masked balls. See photos
Rose Monday, February 8th 2016
The climax of Carnival with the big, official parade organized by the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee. A colourful spectacle with thousands of people in fancy dress. Why don't you join in too! Evening: the celebrations continue in halls, restaurants and pubs. Further information about the parade on Rose Monday | See photos
Tuesday, February 9th 2016
Ash Wednesday, February 10th 2016
Traditionally, fish dinners are served in all restaurants and pubs.
Photos: Joachim Rieger
Parade on Rose Monday 2016