In case you haven’t yet experienced a proper carnival, February is a perfect time for an extended weekend trip. No, you don’t need to go to Rio for a carnival celebration, as you can find noisy and colourful parties also in Europe. Have you ever heard about the carnival in Germany?
Traditionally the German carnival season starts already a lot before Christmas, in detail it starts 11.11. at 11:11 am. However, the highlight of the carnival season takes place around February and March depending on the Easter.
The most important day of the German carnival is Rosenmontag, ‘Rose Monday’. In 2017, the Rose Monday will be celebrated on the 27 of February. In 2016 the Rose Monday took place a little bit earlier, on Monday the 8th of February.
Cologne and Düsseldorf are both perfect destinations for a carnival holiday, as the best parties take place along the Rhine. Music is loud, beer is flowing and the streets are crowded with hundreds of thousands of people on a party mood! I could easily drown you with pictures of the Rose Monday parade in Düsseldorf in 2014, as the parade seemed endless! Every time you thought it’s coming to an end, a new carnival decorated vehicle pops out behind the corner throwing candy for the people on the streets. This is how the parade looked like in Düsseldorf in 2014:
Rose Monday is a public holiday in Germany, and instead of work, everyone is concentrated on the carnival celebration. As on the streets, also at the offices the party starts already on the previous Thursday. I will never forget how it was to move to Germany: on Monday, my first working day, I was given three days to get myself a costume for the carnival. When Thursday arrived, the office looked like this:
Also the fancy suit guys in the offices below ours loosened their ties for the carnival. Many Germans are preparing themselves for some serious celebration and having days off work, not only for the carnival, but also for recovering from the carnival. I wish the first working week would always be like this when starting in a new job: