Bonn Carnival

Bonn Carnival
In German-speaking countries, there are two variations of Carnival celebrations: the Rhenish Carnival and the Swabian-Alemannic Fastnacht. Main centres of the Rhenish Carnival are the cities of Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Eschweiler, Koblenz, Cologne, Mainz, and Neuss. The Bonn Carnival dates back to the 16th century.

The first written mention of the Bonn Carnival is an ordinance dated 1585, in which Ernest of Bavaria, the Archbishop of Cologne, abolished the so-called Bonner Fastnachtgesellschaft. Evidently, the ordinance had little effect, because the festivities were abolished once again in 1622 by Ferdinand of Bavaria, the successor of Ernest of Bavaria.

The Carnival of Bonn, as we know it today, began to take shape in the first half of the 18th century. Presumably from 1760 onward, various craft guilds organized Carnival festivities with the permission of the magistrate.

The Bonn Carnival Society was founded in 1826. It organized the first official Rosenmontag Parade in 1828. However, it was immediately banned by king of Prussia Frederick William III because of its “amorality”. The ban was repealed by his successor Frederick William IV in 1842, and the Bonn Carnival has been held nearly every year since.

The Carnival season in the Rhineland begins at 11:11 a.m. on November 11. In Bonn, the beginning of the “fifth season of the year” is marked with a ceremony held at the market square. It is followed by a temporary suspension of the Carnival spirit during the Christmas season, and the Carnival picks up in earnest on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, referred to as Weiberfastnacht (Women’s Carnival).

The Carnival of Bonn features the storming of the town hall, vibrant processions, street parties, pub crawls, and other festive events and activities. The highlight of the Carnival is the Rose Monday Parade (Rosenmontagszug) that takes place in the city center on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. The festivities are presided over by Prince and Bonna. Like other Rhenish Carnivals, the Bonn Carnival has a special cry: “Bonn Alaaf!”, which means “Long live Bonn!”

Carnival of Bonn

Photo: My Photo Experience




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