Carnival – Prelude

Heute war Weiberfastnacht, der Beginn der Karnevalswoche und ich habe einen langen Spaziergang durch die Stadt gemacht und mir die Feiernden und Umzüge angesehen. Ich habe eine Unzahl von Photos gemacht und werde in den nächsten Tagen einige Posts dazu machen, hier erstmal mein Kostüm und meine ersten Schritte durch das Severinsviertel. Die Schmetterlingsflügel habe ich vor ein paar Jahren schon mal getragen, wie befürchtet hatte ich es nicht geschafft für dieses Jahr etwas Neues zu machen. Auch den Rock habe ich schon lange, der Stoff ist wunderschön aber der Bund leider gar nicht, ich muss ihn demnächst mal umnähen und kaschiere ihn derweil. Draußen habe ich die Flügel über einem schwarzen Wintermantel getragen, durch Türen und Menschenmengen hindurchzulaufen war teils etwas herausfordernd.

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Today was the so called “Weiberfastnacht” (“Old Women Day”, Fat Thursday), the begin of the carnival week that will end on Ash Wednesday next week. The carnival in Cologne is very famous in Germany and beyond – the whole city goes wild, people have holidays, stores are closed and the streets are full of costumed people and a host of parades for five whole days. On Fat Thursday the women of the town take over the town hall and cut off the ties of men. I took a long walk across the city and made a lot of photographs of the celebrations, I will make a few posts in the next few days about carnival, for now here are some pictures of my costume and the first images of my walk through the Severinsviertel, a quarter in Cologne. I already bought the butterfly wings a few years ago, I was too lazy/busy to make a new costume this year. The skirt is old as well, the fabric is very beautiful but the waistband ugly, I will alter this sometime. I wore the wings overneath a black winter coat outside, it was quite a challenge to walk through doors and crowds with them.

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Den Karneval im traditionellen Severinsviertel mag ich am liebsten, dort habe ich heute auch am meisten Zeit verbracht. Ich sollte vielleicht eines hinzufügen: Ich komme aus dem protestantischen Nordostdeutschland, wo Fasching etwas für kleine Kinder ist und kostümierte Erwachsene höchst befremdlich gefunden werden. Köln wiederum tickt ja zur Karnevalszeit regelrecht aus, die ganze Stadt ist buchstäblich verrückt: vor einigen Jahren zum ersten Mal mit ausschließlich Verkleideteten in der Straßenbahn zu sitzen war daher eine sehr seltsames und tolles Erlebnis für mich – und ich finde diese Zeit immer noch aufregend. Alaaf!

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I spent the most time today in the Severinsviertel, the carnival there is traditional and very beautiful in my mind. Here are some images of the beginning of the street carnival there, I will post images of the parades that I saw later. I should maybe add that these celebrations are quite new to me: I grew up in the evangelic north easter part of Germany where carnival is only celebrated by small children (if at all) and costumed adults are at least considered to be weird. It was a very strange and amazing experience when I had my first tram ride with nothing but costumed people. I still like this time of the year very much and I am looking forward to seeing more parades and celebrations in the next few days. Alaaf!*

* that’s the Cologne carnival cry, here is more information on this, should you be interested :-)

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19 thoughts on “Carnival – Prelude

  1. Interesting post! I wish we had carnival here in Toronto. We delayed our honeymoon to spend it in Venice during carnival. It was quite the experience. Many visitors don’t dress up, and we hadn’t brought costumes, but we found a wool tricorn and (of course) some fantastic masks :)

    • Thanks :-) If have not seen the Venice carnival yet but would like to – I also love masks a lot! I took a few pictures yesterday of a very special little “parade” that I coincidentally saw that reminded me of Venice carnival – these group of people wore super elaborate and delicate costumes and headpieces that were not only beautiful but also eerie. Maybe this is a romantic misconception of Venice carnival that I have but I hope not (-:

  2. Thanks! There are a lot of carnival shops in Cologne and found the wings in one of them. I was afraid that a lot of people would wear them because they are so great but I never saw them on someone else – probably because they are not exactly convenient :-)

    Erica Nichole: Thank you so much! I am actually not very adventurous – I am a stay-at-home at heart. I always have to convince myself to leave the house but I gradually got better at this in the last few years :-)

  3. Such a cool pictures! Love your carnival outfit sooo much! I once dressed myself as a butterfly on carnival too, but I had to diy my wings ’cause I couldn’t find it anywhere. Have a great weekend!

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