In 1823, the very first Rosenmontagszug (Rose Monday Parade) started in Cologne. Since then, the so-called “fifth season” of the year has been an integral cultural part of the carnival revellers (“Jecken”) in Cologne. This event sees several hundred thousand tons of so-called “Kamelle” (sweets), “Strüßjer” (bunches of flowers) and stuffed animals freely distributed in Cologne alone, i.e. thrown into the crowds by revellers riding on carnival parade floats. And today, under the motto “200 years of celebrating the Cologne Carnival: Ov krüzz oder quer (Whether crisscross or crosswise)", the parade is once again making its way through the streets of Cologne and spreading its cheerful celebratory mood. According to the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee, more than 300 t of sweets are distributed annually in Cologne alone. There is definitely something to enjoy and raise the spirits of every visitor to the parade!
Although the Cologne parade is the oldest Rosenmontagszug, it is not the only one by far. Many cities around Germany commence their parades today. A special part of this tradition are of course the striking costumes, the colourful floats, and not to forget the tossing of delicious sweets, flowers, and soft-toys. In the past, it was mainly hard-boiled sweets that were flung from the floats; today, the main giveaways are chocolates and pralines. But other sweets such as lollipops, chewing gum, and candy bars also serve as excellent material for tossing to the frenzied crowds.
But don't worry, the sweets are usually thrown in relatively small quantities. And if the candy does go astray, it is not simply left lying around. The sweets are so irresistible that they are even snatched from the ground!
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