When to Celebrate Carnival in Germany:
The carnival season in Germany (also called the "Fifth Season") officially begins on November 11th, at 11:11 a.m.
In this magic hour, the "Council of Eleven" comes together to plan the events for the upcoming festivities. The official hats of the councils' members: Colorful fool's caps with little bells.
The actual celebrations of the German carnival take place 40 days before Easter; they are the last big party before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Check out the Dates for German Carnival Celebrations.
How to Celebrate Carnival in Germany:
The celebrations kick off with "Women’s Carnival" on Thursday before Ash Wednesday. Ladies, this is your day: You can kiss any man you like after cutting off his tie.
The next highlight is Rose Monday: Marching bands, dancers, and floats parade down the streets, throwing confetti, sweets, and toys. The elaborate floats often show caricatured figures mocking politicians and other personalities.
Thousands of dressed-up Germans are flocking the streets every year to watch this spectacle.
On Shrove Tuesday, costume balls are held all over Germany, while the quiet Ash Wednesday marks the end of the frenzied fun.
Where to Celebrate Carnival:
Almost every German city celebrates carnival and organizes a street parade in its city center.
The best and most traditional carnival festivities take place in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Münster, Aachen, and Mainz.
Carnival in Germany - Dates:
The carnival festivities take place between February and March, but the specific dates vary from year to year.
Check the Dates for the Carnival Celebrations and start planning your carnival in Germany.
Check out more events in our list of the Best Festivals in Germany.
Carnival in Summer - Carnival of Cultures in Berlin:
Every summer, Berlin celebrates its own special carnival, the colorful Carnival of Cultures. More than 1,5 million visitors pay tribute to the multicultural spirit of Germany’s capital with this four-day street festival, which also features a great carnival parade with performers from over 70 different countries.
Find out more about the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin.