Say "helau", and candies will fall from the sky! - Is Germany a boring country? Are the Germans reserved and cold? Definitely not in February in Düsseldorf!
The end of February is the best time of the year in Düsseldorf. People celebrate carnival - but not the Hungarian way.
This is the Hungarian way:
In Hungary carnival is mostly for children.
--> The school or the kindergarten organizes a party (a so called "fancy-dress party")
--> Children dress up.
--> They have fun in the afternoon.
--> The traditional snack is doughnut with apricot jam (yellow).
photo credit and recipe: https://cookidoo.de/recipes/recipe/de-DE/r258637
In Düsseldorf carnival is for everyone. Really for everyone: children, teenagers, adults and elderly people celebrate together.
--> Everybody dresses up, you can see many beautiful, funny and creative costumes everywhere. (In 2013 I dressed up as a hippie, in 2015 as a jester, in 2018 as a geisha, in 2020 as a captain and as a bunny.)
--> The city organizes a 5-day event. Is it a fancy-dress party? No, it is not a party. It is a crazy festival. As you can see, carnival is a serious business here in Düsseldorf :)
The carnival starts on Thursday*. People go to the city centre in the morning, around 10 o'clock. It is really funny that you see giraffes, vikings, mushrooms, Marvel superheroes and 70-year old babies on the bus, haha. People celebrate on the street during the day, and go to little clubs in the evening.
There is an old tradition: on Thursday evening men wear a tie. If a woman cuts the tie with a scissor, they can kiss each other.
The best day of the carnival is Monday (the so called "Rosenmontag"). The schools close, the offices close, even the shops close.
On Monday the carnival caravan starts at 13:30 in the afternoon.
People on the tractors are dressed up nicely, and they have huge bags full of sweets.
They greet the crowd: "Helau!"
The crowd shouts: "Helau! Helau! Helau!"
Then they throw the sweets to the crowd. You can collect a lot of candies and chocolate bars. See:
It is a very good day for children. But adults have fun, too.
Here is what we collected in 2020:
- candies, chocolate bars, lolly pops, gummy bears, caramel popcorn, marshmallows, biscuits, muffins, waffles - crisps, salty sticks
- cosmetics like shampoo and body lotion
- tissues and plasters
- 2 yellow rubber ducks
- a little lion :D
- some flowers
+ bonus: fresh leek!!! (póréhagyma!)
All together it was more that 7 kg of carnival gifts.
--> If the 7 kg is not enough, you can have some doughnuts. The traditional carnival snack in Germany is doughnut, too. They eat it with red currant jam (red).
And last but not least, a QUIZ QUESTION for you:
Does Johnny Depp like the carnival in Düsseldorf?
YES or NO?
For the answer and the feeling click on the video:
So, how do you like it? If you do, come to Düsseldorf next time! :)
Save the date:
Düsseldorf Rosenmontag: 15th February 2021!
Glossary celebrate - ünnepel fancy-dress party - jelmezbál dress up as xxxx - valaminek beöltözni doughnut - fánk apricot - sárgabarack red currant - ribizli the crowd - a tömeg sweets - édesség collect - gyűjteni
on Thursday* - ez nálunk a torkos csütörtök
Prepozíciók: on Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday etc in the morning / afternoon / evening during the day
Példamondatok: He is dressed up as a baby. - Ő kisbabának öltözött be. He is 70 years old. - Ő 70 éves. He is a 70-year old baby. - Ő egy 70 éves kisbaba. This tradition is 100 years old. - Ez a hagyomány 100 éves. This is a 100-year old tradition. - Ez egy 100 éves hagyomány.