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19.11.2019

REMINDER - Save the date!

As we want to ensure that we do not only get together during classes at the University, we will be hosting a traditional German Kegelabend at "Laden 1/3" in Ehrenfeld.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019, 18:00 - 20:30h

There is no participation fee and we will be providing a selection of finger food, snacks and drinks. Any food or drinks aside from our selection can purchased at your own expenses though.
A registration via email is absolutely necessary. Click on the image for more details.

 

What is Carnival?

Next Monday marks the offical start of the Carnival season here in Germany: 11/11/2019 at 11:11am. 

As Carnival is not celebrated all over the world and even the customs in Germany show a range of variety, we want to give you some insight on what is actually being celebrated. Keep in mind that certain areas (such as Neumarkt, Alter Markt, but also Zülpicher Straße/Zülpicher Platz) will be quite packed. 

***

Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself. But the organized Carnival like it is being celebrated today only dates back since the beginning of the 19th century.

The Greeks and Romans celebrated cheerful spring festivals in honour of Dionysos and Saturn with wine, women and singing. The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice as a homage to the gods and expulsion of the evil winter demons. Later the Christians adopted the heathen customs. The period of fasting (Lent) prior to Easter was heralded in by "Fastnacht" or "Karnival" - carne vale = Farewell to meat!

In the Middle Ages, the celebration of Carnival, the masquerade often took on drastic forms, which was very much to the displeasure of the city council and the church. Bans and ordinances did little to help, the celebration was still wild and spirited. The boisterous street Carnival was extended in the 18th century to include the so-called "Redouten", elegantly masked and fancy-dress balls in Venetian style, which were initially the preserve of the aristocracy and the wealthy patricians.

In 1736, the first Redoute was held in Cologne in a noble house on the Neumarkt. Almost 50 years later, Cologne was captured by the French revolutionary troops. But the new rulers allowed the locals "de faire son tour", to hold their Carnival parades. The Prussians, who took control a short time later, were stricter. This, however, did not prevent the natives of Cologne from cultivating their Carnival tradition.

Carnival was romanticized and became bourgeois. It became organized! With the "Carnival Hero", today's Prince Carnival, a new idea was also introduced.

In 1823 the "Festordnende Komitee" (the commitee that planned the event) was founded. On February 10 of that year, Cologne celebrated the first Rose Monday Parade with the motto "Inthronization of the Carnival Hero". Also involved were the "Rote Funken" the former city militia, who had just established themselves as a carnival society; the Carnival fool of the "Hillige Knäächte un Mägde", Jan von Werth and Cologne's "Peasant" and "Virgin" as a reminder of the former free imperial city of Cologne.

At that time, just as it is today, a man wore the costume of the Virgin. Following the foundation of the Festkomitee, there was no stopping the people of Cologne. One Carnival society followed the other. In 1860, the first "Ghost Parade" was held on the evening of Carnival Saturday.

Even after the turn of the century, the "founding period" of the Carnival fans continued. In 1902, the "Ehrengarde" (guard of honour) was formed as the accompanying group of the Peasant and Virgin.

In 1906, Prince Carnival was given his "Prinzengarde". Other societies established themselves. Willi Ostermann with his songs and others made Cologne Carnival famous beyond the city gates. The "Sitzungen" (shows) with their humorous orators and singers bridged the gap between the opening of the "Carnival Session" on "11.11" to its climax on Rose Monday.

It's still like this today. Now it is bands like the "Bläck Fööss", "Höhner" and "Paveier" and humorists like "Rumpelstilzchen" or "Werbefachmann" who are the trademark of Cologne's "Fifth Season". World-famous is the "Stippeföttchen-Tanz" of the Rote Funken, a parody on the soldiers' strict life.

Today there are approximately 160 carnival societies, local history societies and district groups in Cologne which celebrate their home town festival in about 500 sessions, balls and parades. Each year the highlight is the Parade on the Rose Monday.

Source: https://www.cologne.de/events/cologne-carnival/2000-years-of-carnival.html

***

On the 11 November, up to 70,000 carnival revellers will come together on Heumarkt square to celebrate the opening of the new carnival season.

Revellers from Cologne and carnival goers from the rest of the world, together with the three chief carnival figures (Prince, Peasant and Maiden who make up the Cologne Dreigestirn – the trio – and who are the highest representatives of the Cologne carnival) and traditional Cologne carnival bands will transform the square in the centre of the city into a carnivaltastic madhouse.

The programme begins on the stage at Heumarkt at 9.00. The biggest stars in the carnival music world will give it their all to get the colourfully-costumed revellers into the carnival mood and dancing spirit. The sounds of Cologne will lure carnival-goers into joining in with the singing and dancing for hours on-end – the official programme at Heumarkt doesn’t end until early evening. Among those involved this year are die Höhner, Bläck Fööss, Räuber, Paveier, Brings, Marie-Luise Nikuta, and many more.

However, the colourful activities in Cologne don’t stop there: the party will keep going in many of the pubs in the city centre, around Heumarkt and Alter Markt squares. Carnival merry-making continues on until the early hours of the morning!

On the 11 November, Cologne city centre is transformed for the carnival celebrations, and you are therefore recommended to leave your car at home when travelling to the opening season festivities at Heumarkt. It is far easier to take the bus or train – particularly if you’ve had the odd Koelsch beer or two!

Source: https://www.cologne.de/events/cologne-carnival/11th-november-carnival-begins.html

 

Excursion "Haus der Geschichte" in Bonn

A huge thank you to all who participated in our first excursion of the new semester! Our trip to the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn was fun and informative from beginning to end, in addition to being a perfect opportunity to get to know one another. After touring the museum together, it was wonderful to hear everyone’s personal association with specific elements of German history. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again at our next get-together in December. Until then, enjoy the photos from Bonn and have a great start in the new semester!

 

30.09.2019

Update September

Last things to keep in mind before the semester starts next week! 

 

27.09.2019

CGSP Excursion "Haus der Geschichte"

We would like to take the upcoming start of the semester as an occasion, to take you on an excursion to the "Haus der Geschichte" in Bonn. The museum has re-opened after major renovations and is offering an amazing exhibition providing insight into the history of Germany past 1945. Please have a look at the flyer attached for detailed information. 

We are very much looking forward to see you all on October 11th!
 

20.08.2019

Info Webinar 16 Sep 2019

In order to give you all the details you need to set up your schedule for the CGSP, we held a webinar on September 16th and highly recommended all particpants to join. If you were not able to join, you can access a recording of the webinar by clicking the following link:

https://uni-koeln.sciebo.de/s/KiNPUiqpzN5q4EG

If you require personal support, we will be offering visiting hours at the following times: 

Mon, September 16th: 17h30 - 18h30

Tue, September 17th: 16h - 18h

Wed, September 18th: 10h - 12h30

Location: Student Service Center, Universitätsstrasse 22a, 1st floor, room 1.218