In Germany the carnival is called “Karneval” ,”The Fifth Season” or “Fasching” and the biggest one takes place in Cologne, where it took place the first time in 1823. Starting from the Thursday the week before the Ash Wednesday it goes through the whole week. A week full of parties, parades and streets full of funny dressed people. The main region in Germany celebrating carnival is North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate, but the capital of the German carnival is Cologne.
The carnival in Cologne starts with Weiberfastnacht (Fat Thursday) and it opens the Carnival party week. The celebrations take place on the streets, in local pubs and extra build up tents ,where extra carnival bands and musicians go on stage and entertain the crowd. During these days one will find dressed up people from all age groups all over the city partying through the whole week.
The next days are full of different kind of events, which are happening in the city from the morning till the night. On Carnival Sunday school groups parade through the city followed by a big party in the evening.
The biggest parade takes place on Rose Monday ,where the Prince, the Peasant and the Maiden join the procession, which is going through the city. This is a tradition that these three are present at the annual carnival event. In Cologne the route of the parade is aprox.6 km long and takes around 3 hours and the citizens of Cologne ,as well as guests from other cities and tourists from other countries, attend this parade and celebrate.
Every year the Cologne Carnival Celebration Committee , which is already existing since 1823 , is running the stage shows and the parades, which make the essential part of the carnival.