Carnival in Cologne 2022
Cologne's fifth season
- What does one shout during carnival in Cologne? “Helau” or “Alaaf”?
The Cologne cheer is “Kölle Alaaf.” “Helau” is the cheer in Mainz and Düsseldorf and thus is never used in Cologne under any circumstances.
- What does “Alaaf” mean?
“Kölle Alaaf” is the cheer of the carnival revellers. It is derived from a medieval toast: “All ab” (All-av). It more or less means “Cologne alone” or “Cologne over everything.” It’s the shortest imaginable declaration of love to Cologne.
- Why does the “Nubbel” get burned?
The “Nubbel” is a straw-filled doll that serves as the scapegoat for all of the transgressions that the revellers have committed during the days of carnival. The associated torchlight processions are held in the night from Shrove Tuesday to Ash Wednesday. Impressive Nubbel burnings take place next to St. Agnes Church, in Nippes, in Südstadt, in Kwartier Latäng and in the Old Town (Altstadt).