Trekking with Becky

Photo Friday: Cologne Carnival Costumes

A lot of couples were dressed alike, especially in jester or clown-like costumes like these ones.

Cologne Carnival was my first world famous carnival, and until about 2 weeks before my trip, I didn’t know that I would be there for carnival weekend.  I heard that anything goes when it comes to costumes, but I had no idea just how unreal they would be.

It turns out that the carnival motto is Jede Jeck es anders, which translates to Every fool is different. This is clearly taken to heart in Cologne, and like I said in my post about the pros and cons about visiting Cologne during the carnival, there are absolutely NO limits when it comes to costumes.


I saw a few Superman costumes modified this way…BeeR!

I’ve seen everything from full animal costumes, animated characters, movie characters, clowns, just face paint with a colourful wig or hat of some sort…ANYTHING goes.  A lot of people dressed as a character like Superman or a nun but modified their costumes to their own tastes; it’s like a Hallowe’en explosion, and anything and everything is tolerated so that everyone can be happy in his/her own way.

You’ll see people dressed up all over the place at all hours, and most of them will probably be drinking since it’s legal to drink alcohol on the street in Germany.  They’ll be everywhere since there are parties, events, balls, parades, shows…you name it all over the place with about 160 carnival societies.

Watch out for the broken glass all over the place, by the way.

So for this week’s Photo Friday, I managed to compile and edit the best shots I was able to get of the costumes.  It wasn’t easy since I couldn’t just ask everyone for a photo and I didn’t want to be rude by just shoving my camera in people’s faces.

Anyway, I hope that these captures will show you the crazy carnival spirit and make you feel like you were there. 😀  It was so hard not to stare in amazement.  Most people get an A+ for creativity and effort.

A lot of pubs were exploding with their own parties that never ended.


You can just drink by yourself on the street if you don’t have a pub party to go to. I was impressed with this man’s make-up and hat.



If people didn’t wear full costumes, they wore hats, wigs, and usually some make-up. ↑↓



Three of the dozen Luigis I saw with a panda and someone who doesn’t appear to be dressed up. There were only a couple of Marios; Luigi’s much more popular for some reason.


It’s party tiiiiiiiime!  I like Mario’s mushroom.


Like in the first photo of this post, a lot of couples dressed alike, but a lot of them had red and white jester/clown-like costumes like these two couples. ↓



I had to laugh at this couple’s chicken hats and I had to do a double-take when I noticed the man next to them with a dyed beard. ↓


I’m not sure who these people are supposed to be. ↑↓


If I were to dress up, it would be in something historical like these guys. ↑↓

I have to say that this one is still giving me the creeps.  There were a few odd ones like and others that were horrifying with bloody, scary make-up like you’d see for Hallowe’en, but I don’t understand what this girl’s thought processes were in coming up with this costume.  Any thoughts?

I have no words.

Although this capture doesn’t really quite show it, this one-of-a-kind nun, like everyone else I saw, was happy without a care in the world.  Regardless of the costume, it always seemed to bring out everyone’s natural glow.  Everyone who was dressed up had a relaxed, calm expression on their faces if they weren’t smiling, cheering, drinking, or chanting or singing at the top of their lungs.

People come from all over to party with the locals, because, as a loud, drunken strawberry told me, Cologne is part of Germany’s bright side.  However, nothing could beat this bunch of expat Canadians having a blast and more than happy to chat with another Canuck. ↓

Nothing like running into a bunch of fellow Canadians!


If you were going to dress up for the Cologne Carnival, what would your costume be?



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16 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Cologne Carnival Costumes

  1. budgettraveltalk

    I can imagine a bunch of Canadians having a great time at this event. Aussies just love Canadians, they’re such fun and very friendly.

  2. Ruth

    Wow! I think this is the time of the year to get some fun. People can get so creative. The girl dressed as a nun killed it. Is that baby smoking? #TPThursday

    1. Becky Post author

      Me too. I found it so amusing how popular Luigi is in Germany. That plaid had was one of a kind. 🙂 Most people didn’t wear hats, so it was a fun surprise.

  3. Rhonda Albom

    There are a lot of creative costumes there. I like the ones wearing the fluoro fuzzy boots, vests, and wigs. I think I would wear something vintage from the 60’s.

  4. California Globetrotter

    Very interesting costumes! I went to a much smaller carnival festival near us, and there were certainly lots of fun costumes, but non quite an interesting as these! Especially the nun with a baby…. #wkendtravelsinpiration

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