Helau is the way to usually greet and lift the spirit during the fifth season in Düsseldorf.
Carnival in the Rheinland (North Rhine area) is called the Fifth season. Main events are in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mainz, but many cities and even parts of the cities have their own celebrations and parades.
Carnival breaks down the winter to spring bringing some colour, joy, and life to the often rainy and cold time.
Carnival in Düsseldorf has a centuries long history. Today it is celebrated with dressing up in costumes, music performances and lot of party’s around the city constitutes from end of 19th century.
11th November at 11:11am
The Carnival season starts on November 11 at 11:11 am in Old Town as the Carnival joker Hoppeditz awakes and holds his speech. The speech is like the whole Carnival – full of humour, even a bit cheeky and being traditional but topical. The Mayor responses to the speech and after the ceremony, partying goes on in the city for the day!
Altweiberfastnacht, the Women’s Carnival, is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday when the Carnival festivities start at 11:11 am.
Women in costume storm the local Townhall to cut men’s ties off as a symbol of taking control over the city.
This year 2021 also this happened mainly virtually, on the news we could see that two women were allowed in to the Townhall and they cut off the tie from the Mayor.
Saturday is the day when families and children wear costumes and go to city centre to see the procession arranged by hobby groups, kindergarten and schools.
On Sunday the whole Königsallee is filled with party people for the entire day for street carnival.
The Rose Monday Parade is the main event, where thousands of participants join the procession through the city and up to million spectators.
All dressed in costumes, many decorated floats that address cultural and political issues, throw sweets and shout Helau. The streets and squares are filled with music, singing, dancing, food and refreshments.
Easter and Lent
On Ash Wednesday, the joker Hoppeditz is burned, and it remains are symbolically buried, and the Düsseldorf Carnival is put to rest before the next season is kicked off on November 11 again.
International Women in Business Düsseldorf (iwibdus) with Welcome committee of International School of Düsseldorf (ISD) arranged a lovely and joyful online event on Altweiberfastnacht.
Dressing up, with a drink of own choice, cosy at warmth of own house a bunch of happy ladies gathered to share their experiences on German Carnival and traditions from own cultures.
Interesting and funny stories on like how big the Carnival is in South America, in Argentina and especially in Brazil. Their big parade with lot of preparation on costumes, many days of music and dancing. In some parts is Mardi Gras.
In UK pancakes are eaten, in Finland you go sledge riding and eat sweet buns with strawberry jam and whipped cream. Also in Italy masquerade are arranged, especially in Venice. Often the Chinese New Year is at the same time and there are own big celebrations involved.
Fatty food like doughnuts are a season delight in Germany. What a wonderful event to get to know new people, learn something more of your friends and their cultures and to celebrate this season in our new hometown.
Rose Montag 2021
Even though not possible to celebrate physically in the same place the carnival spirit is strong and alive. All the official Carnival events have been cancelled in 2021. Still, you should keep your eyes open on Rose Monday in the city centre. The artist Jacques Tilly has made eight Carnival floats, that will go around the city centre of Düsseldorf for two hours on Monday.
Hanna Leena Luostarinen
Hanna Leena is a volunteer in our membership team for iwibdus. She has been volunteering since October 2020. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact us.