As the capital city of German state of North Rhine Westphalia, Dusseldorf is a stronghold for Rhineland carnivals and festivities. The Dusseldorf Carnival also known as the “fifth season” is one of the biggest cultural events and long-lasting traditional festivities in the Rhineland, Germany. Every year in the month of November between 'Hoppeditz' Awakening' on 11th and Ash Wednesday, the cultural gala of Dusseldorf Carnival features huge Rosenmontag Parade, carnival sessions and costume balls. This carnival has been established in 1825 for the first time when the foremost prince was elected and organized the first Rose Monday Parade. In recent years the event became extremely popular with millions of tourists and locals visiting annually and taking part in this joyous entertainment.
Even though the festivity officially begins in November, Dusseldorf Carnival’s three-day climax is likely the best time to visit and be a part of these most ebullient celebrations. Outrageous fancy dress costumes, dancing, singing, late night parties, fun and entertainment are an integral part of these celebrations.
One of the best features of Dusseldorf Carnival is the Altweiberfastnacht (Women’s night) on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, when women storm the city town hall at 11.11am, running all over taking the control of the city for one day.
Another highlighting part of Dusseldorf Carnival is the climax Rosenmontagszug (Rose Monday) Parade or Mardi Gras where about a million Jesters ‘fools’ dressed in screaming colors and uniforms make their way around the city, shouting out the traditional ‘Helau’. A Large number of spectators line the pavements for more than two and half kilometers long to watch this spectacular view, hoping to catch the sweets thrown from the various floats.
TheDusseldorf Carnival comes to an end on Ash Wednesday when the mourning fools get together to burn the Hoppeditz, the statue of an eloquent jester and get themselves ready for the next year’s event.