Published On: Mon, Jan 18th, 2016

Duesseldorf and Cologne tourism officials statement on safety and security for the upcoming Carnival season

02_BONN-COLOGNE-DÜSSELDORF - CologneWorld famous and a spectacular unique to two German cities, Cologne and Duesseldorf. It’s the Carnival topping with the Rose Monday parade.
The number one concern for tourists wanting to attend this year is not how much the price of Alt beer in Duesseldorf or Koelsch in Cologne is , but how safe it is to watch the parade.

Rose Monday will be on February 8 this year.

The excitement about this day of fun, party with friends of family is toned down after sexual attacks by refugees on women last New Years night.

The incident was widely discussed and made it even to be mentioned by candidates of the U.S. presidential election this year.

Traditionally, the “fifth season” is declared open at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of the 11th month November. The Carnival spirit is then temporarily suspended during the Advent and Christmas period, and picks up again in earnest after the 6 January (Biblical Magi) in the New Year.

The time of merrymaking in the streets is officially declared open at downtown square Alter Markt on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent. Street carnival, a week-long street festival, also called “the crazy days”, takes place between the Fat Thursday (Weiberfastnacht) and ends on Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch).

The highlight of the carnival is Rose Monday (Rosenmontag), two days before Ash Wednesday. All through these days, Cologne folks go out masqueraded. The typical greeting during the festival is Kölle Alaaf!, a Kölsch phrase which can be translated as “Cologne above all!”

eTN reached out to both Duesseldorf and Cologne tourism officials and asked about safety for the upcoming street events.

„Rhenish Carnival in Düsseldorf traditionally is an event for the whole family and we are confident that it will keep this character. We are convinced that the police and the organizers of the highlights, like e.g. the Rose Monday parade, will ensure a peaceful and entertaining experience in Düsseldorf for all. Nevertheless, an estimate of the general security situation can only be provided by the police, not by DMT as the marketing and tourism organization of the city.”

Cologne officials had this to say.

“We are confident that the City of Cologne and the police immediately put in place stricter security measures, such as an intensified presence of policemen and closed-circuit surveillance of public places, so that visitors to Cologne can once again feel safe here in the city – during the Carnival and on any other day of the year.

As official tourism marketing organisation for the city, we will support these as good as we can and provide our guests with all necessary information, as their safety is a priority to us.

We understand people’s concerns and naturally we are working to put their minds at ease. This is a balancing act since as a tourism organisation, we are unable to guarantee security. That said, we have no reason to believe that incidents like on New Year’s Eve could become regularity in our city.”