Frankfurt Carnival (Karneval) Parade - March 2nd & 3rd 2019

Frankfurt Karneval Parade 2019

In Frankfurt the main parade during 2019 takes place on Sunday 3rd March. Starting at 12:11pm, the parade commences at Westhafen and takes the following route to the Römerberg:

Westhafen - Untermainkai/Untermainbrücke - Neue Mainzer Straße - Friedensstraße - Kaiserstraße - Roßmarkt - Goetheplatz - Rathenauplatz - Biebergasse - Hauptwache -Katharienenpforte - Bleidenstraße - Liebfrauenberg - Töngesgasse - Fahrgasse - Battonnstraße - Kurt-Schumacher-Straße - Fahrgasse - Braubachstraße - Römerberg

Childrens Karneval Parade

The Children's Karneval Parade will be on Saturday March 2nd, starting at 12.11pm. The parade starts at Hauptwache and walks through to Römerberg

"Frankfurt Helau!" at the Karveval Parade

Karneval History

In Germany carnival is associated with the predominantly Roman Catholic states. Frankfurt however, maintains it’s carnival tradition because of historical ties to the Holy Roman Empire as both the election and coronation city of the Emperors. Today in Frankfurt the celebration mainly takes place in the form of parades and is a fun event for adults and children alike. For a full-on carnival experience head to the Rhineland cities of Köln, Düsseldorf and Mainz, the extensive festivities developed in these cities as a way of being subversive towards the occupying forces, e.g. the Prussians and the French, during the early 1800's. It was an opportunity to parody the occupiers and the military and, still today, parades march by with people dressed up in military costumes.   

Carnival officially commences on 11th November at 11:11, but the key celebrations start on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent and end by Shrove Tuesday. The main event is the street parade. Highly decorated floats pass by throwing sweets for the children and marching bands, some dressed up in military uniforms others in garish costume, provide musical entertainment. The crowd joins in by dressing up too.

Why do parades start at 12:11pm?

Why start a parade at 12:11pm and not 12 o'clock? One theory is the the number eleven, pronounced "elf" in German is an acronym of the French revolution cry of egalité, liberté, fraternité and the number 11 was a reference to the struggle of the German states, who in the early 1800's, were demanding democracy and liberty from the ruling classes.

Happy Karneval everyone! PS: Listen out for the traditional Frankfurt carnival cry of "Frankfurt Helau!"

Future Karneval parade dates

2020: February 25th - 27th.
2021: February 14th - 16th.
2022: February 26th - 27th.
2023: February 18th - 19th.

That's right, just trundle your canon across the town square, why don't you!