Monday, February 4, 2008


After spending most of Saturday in the confines of our apartment (and watching it snow in the morning), we decided to brave yet another Karneval event. This time it was the Geisterzug, or Ghost-Parade, one of the "alternative" Karneval events. Each year, the organizers choose a different part of the city for the parade and encourage everyone to march along, instead of being spectators. Other rules include no throwing things into the crowds and no traditional Karneval songs, so it sounded like fun to us. This year the parade was across the river in Kalk and Mülheim, a part of Köln we really haven't explored. Kalk and Mülheim have been part of Köln for less than one hundred years, and what used to be a booming industrial part of the city, now has a large international population. The Geisterzug, as we know it today, started in 1991, as a protest to the USA invading Iraq. It was telling that before we attended the parade, we watched the documentary No End In Sight.
At 7 pm we were in a large mass of people ready to march. There were fire dancers and papier-mâché dragons. We saw the most creative costume yet - a man as the new Gerhard Richter window in the Dom - it was fantastic. Many different percussion groups were in the parade, so there was some dancing through the streets in an attempt to stay warm.

1 comment:

Mark Jabbusch said...

I really appreciate seeing these traditions 'with a purpose', and to see the world through the eyes of another culture... and through your descriptions. Thanks.