Karneval ALAAF! Local carnival parade calendar.

For me, the carnival parades are the most fun. They will throw candy. They might give you a shot of something alcoholic. You might go home with a cabbage (really), so bring a bag or an inverted umbrella and enjoy. Costumes are the norm – especially in Cologne. Not dressing up will make you stand out more than putting on a silly hat. So get silly and enjoy.

Many Germans try to fit in at least 5 parades. Some even pack in 8. Plan strategically and you can do it too! Don’t forget your costume!

Vocabulary (It helps with searches auf Deutch oder Nederlandish)

grote optocht – big parade (NL)
This is the large carnival parade for the adults. More amazing costumes and fun.

jeugdoptocht or kinderoptocht: children’s parade (NL)
A beautiful event for and starring children with their families with amazing makeup and costumes, the Sittard one is truly remarkable. This is very family-friendly and free.

kleine optocht – a small parade (NL)

optocht – parade (NL)

zug – parade (DE)
When perusing the karneval calendars on German websites, an event with “zug” at the end of the word will be a parade. For example, Tulpensontagszug, is a parade that happens on Tulip Sunday, or Tulpensontag.

2014 Local Carnival Parade Calendar: This is by no means an exhaustive list. Follow the links at the end to find more parades in local villages near you.

Weiberfastnacht: Thursday, 27 Feb
Tulpensontag: Sunday, 02 March
Rosenmontag: Monday, 03 March
Veilchendienstag: Tuesday, 04 March
Aschermittwoch: Wednesday, 05 March

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Sunday, February 23th

 

Wednesday, 28 February

  • Amstenrade, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1200
  • Kelpen-Oler, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1311
  • Born, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1315
  • Merkelbeek, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Helden, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Beegden, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Hastenrath, DE – Große Nachtzug (Big Night Parade) at 1911

 

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Thursday, February, 27:  This day is called Weiberfastnacht and essentially the day that women use as an excuse to go a little crazy.  You’ll find all sorts of parties geared towards women and it’s probably not a good day to wear your best tie if you’re a man because women toting scissors will almost definitly come to chop it off.  Really.  This is the night of the Altweisser Ball in many towns and though crazy, can be a lot of fun.

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Saturday, 1 March

  • Landgraaf,NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1230
  • Meers,NL – Optocht at 1311
  • Herkenbosch, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1311
  • Simpelveld, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1311
  • Heerlen, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1333
  • Baexem, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1349
  • Porselen, DE – Karnevalszug at 1400
  • Beersdal, NL – Kleine Optocht at 1400
  • Arcen, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1400
  • Gulpen, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1400
  • Vaals, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1400
  • Laangbroich, DE – Karnevalszug at 1411 – This is one of the larger parades in the area. Carpool into the outskirts and walk in. Go early. 
  • Maastricht, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Binglerade, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Koningsbosch, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Heerlerheide, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Hoensbroek, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Kerkrade, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Vaesrade, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Doenrade, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Puth, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Maria-hoop, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Brunssum, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1433
  • Simpelveld, NL – Verlichte Optocht at 1900

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Sunday, 2 March – Tulpensonntag

  • Aachen, DE – Children’s Costume Carnival
  • Höngen, DE – Tulpensontagszug (Time unknown)
  • Geilenkirchen, DE – Tulpensontagszug at 1011
  • Marienberg, DE – Karnevalsumzug at 1111
  • Venlo, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1200
  • Heerlen, NL – Grote Optocht at 1211
  • Sittard, NL – Grote Optocht at 1255 (The big parade is over 2 hours long and usually has 80,000 spectators. It’s been going on since the 1920’s. Get there early for good parking. The parade route can be found online at: http://www.optocht-sittard.nl)
  • Scherpenseel-Siepenbusch – Karnevalsumzug at 1300
  • Kerkrade, NL – Grote Optocht at 1311
  • Eckelrade, NL – Grote Optocht at 1311
  • Mheer, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1311
  • Puth, NL – Grote Optocht at 1311
  • Noorbeek, NL – Grote Optocht at 1330
  • Weert, NL – Grote Optocht at 1330
  • Bergen, NL – Optocht at 1330
  • Echt, NL – Grote Optocht at 1333
  • Maastricht, NL – Grote Optocht at 1333
  • Stein, NL – Grote Optocht at 1341
  • Horst, NL – Grote Optocht at 1349
  • Geleen, NL – Grote Optocht at 1349
  • Randerath, DE – Tulpensontagszug at 1411
  • Wassenburg, DE – Tulpensontagszug at 1411 (Begins in Birgelen and ends in Brühl)
  • Merkelbeek, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Nuth, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Eijsden, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Epen, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Eygelshoven, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Ubach over Worms, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Maasbracht, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Schinveld, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Oirsbeek, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Simpelveld, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Voerdendaal, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Margraten, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Neer, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Gulpen, NL – Grote Optocht at 1433
  • Valkenburg, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1511
  • Gillrath, DETulpensonntagszug at 1530 – I love this parade. It’s small, but very kid-friendly.
  • Karken, DE – Tulpensontagszug at 1530 “It is a pretty big parade!”
  • Bocket, DE – Tulpensontagszug at 1611
  • Beek, NL – Verlichte optocht at 1830

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March 3 – Rose Monday (Rosenmontag)

  • Aachen, DE – Rosenmontagszug
  • Übach-Palenberg – Rosenmontagsumzug at 1000 (Starts at the Bahnhof)
  • Straeten, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1011
  • Kirchhoven, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1011
  • Köln/Cologne, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1030 – This is the BIG parade of the region. It will last for 3+ hours and will give out the most candy. It is NOT, however, completely G rated. Parental guidance is advised.
  • Kerkrade, NL – Grote Optocht at 1111
  • Venlo, NL – Optocht at 1211
  • Roermond, NL – Optocht at 1311
  • Heerlerheide, NL – Grote Optocht at 1311
  • Valkenburg, NL – Grote Optocht at 1311
  • Beek, NL – Optocht at 1330
  • Brunssum, NL – Grote Optocht at 1345
  • Kempen, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1400
  • Stahe-Niederbusch, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1400
  • Tüddern, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1411
  • Dremmen, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1411
  • Meerssen, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Munstergeleen, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Sittard, NL – Kleine Optocht at 1411
  • Schinveld, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Vaals, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Limbricht, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Schimmert, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Koningsbosch, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Thorn, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Amstenrade, NL – Grote Optocht at 1411
  • Geleen, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Schinnen, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Hoensbroek, NL – Optocht at 1411
  • Maasricht, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1433
  • Oberbruch, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1500
  • Simpelveld, NL – Kleine Optocht at 1511
  • Kleischötte, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1711
  • Süsterseel, DE – Rosenmontagszug at 1711

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March 4 – Veilchendienstag

  • Neerbeek, NL – Grote Optocht at 1300
  • Landgraaf, NL – Grote Optocht at 1311
  • Schinnen, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1411
  • Waldenrath, DE – Veilchendienstagszug at 1411
  • Meerssen, NL – Jeugdoptocht at 1515
  • Horst, DE – Vielchendienstagszug at 1530
  • Heerlen, NL – Verlichte Optocht at 2011
  • Valkenburg, NL – Verlichte optocht at 2033

More parades/Resources:

  • NL Parade Calendar:  Type the villages/town that you’re interested in in the box on the left that says, “zoeken” and hit enter. This will search for all parades in that location, or you can search by province and come up with an exhaustive list.
  • Köln/Cologne: There’s much more going on than the one big parade, so either this is the time to either spend more time in Cologne or to avoid it entirely depending on how much you love/hate the carnival season.
  • Aachen, DE
  • Gillrath, DE:  Tulip Sunday Parade!  A small village, but very kid friendly parade.
  • South Limburg Parades - This site is specific to South Limburg
  • Sittard Carnival Website: www.marotte.nl
  • Geleen Carnival Website: www.flaarisse.nl
  • Geilenkirchen: http://www.gkv-geilenkirchen.de

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2 Responses to “Karneval ALAAF! Local carnival parade calendar.”

  1. Ginny Taylor February 25, 2014 7:39 pm #

    Monday, March 3rd, Tüddern, DE 14:11,Süsterseel, DE 17:11

    • Tiffany February 25, 2014 8:42 pm #

      Thank you, Ginny! It’s been added.

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