IThe street carnival started in silly forts on Thursday. At exactly 11:11, the commotion began. In Düsseldorf, “Möhnen” broke into the town hall. In Cologne, the triumvirate of the prince, the farmer, and the maid had fun. Cologne Carnival President Christoph Kuckelkorn told the German Press Agency that the crowd was smaller than usual this time due to bad weather. “Either people come later or have decided to celebrate at home, which is a nice idea.”

There was already a crowd around the Zülpicher Straße party spot in Kwartier Latäng, Cologne's student district, even before the official start at 11:11. This part of the city attracts especially young people.

The mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker (independent), told dpa that the Cologne Carnival is always a celebration of diversity, which is also sung about in many songs. “I would like it to be lived like this for the whole year ahead.”

Kuckelkorn emphasized: “Cologne is colorful. We have all nationalities, all religious affiliations and orientations here. Cologne is a region of diversity. Any stream that wants to somehow limit it has no chance, and that's what we're fighting for. Carnival always stands firmly on the side of democracy.

This time it was a very special women's carnival in Bonn-Beuel, where the 200th anniversary of the so-called washerwomen's uprising was celebrated. This tradition goes back to the early women's movement: in 1824 Beuel's laundresses turned against patriarchy and the associated exploitation of women and founded the Women's Committee. “The custom of laundresses to discuss their husband's gross domestic violence and breaches of marital fidelity over coffee, according to certain rules, has been preserved in various political eras to the present day,” said the city of Bonn. Every year since 1958, the women of Beuel have named a representative from their ranks, the laundry princess.