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Kehl Carnival 2024: colour, music and fun!

If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable Carnival experience, Kehl is the place for you. Every February, Strasbourg's German neighbour offers a traditional carnival event with an exceptional atmosphere.

In 2024, the Kehl Carnival will take place on the weekend of 3 and 4 February. On the programme: colourful parades, traditional costumes and an incredible family atmosphere.

Carnival tradition in Germany

The tradition of carnival in Germany, known as "Fastnacht", "Fasching" or "Karneval", varies from region to region. It is a period of festivities marking the end of winter and the approach of Lent.

The festivities include colourful parades, often satirical costumes, and the appointment of carnival "princes" and "princesses". These celebrations are an opportunity for people to dress up, take part in masked balls and sample local specialities.

German Carnival is also known for its political parodies and comedy shows, reflecting a spirit of freedom and carefreeness before the more sober period of Lent.

Kehl Carnival (or fastnacht)

Following in the tradition of German carnivals, the Kehl Carnival is an unmissable and incredible festival that has absolutely nothing to do with the Strasbourg Carnival.

Every year in February, the town comes alive with a night parade on the Saturday and a grand cavalcade on the Sunday afternoon. The streets of the city centre fill up with merry groups, witches and colourful characters.

The Kehl Carnival 2024 programme

Here are some of the highlights you won't want to miss:

Saturday 3 February 2024:

  • from 11am - opening of the stalls and tents in the carnival village
  • from 2.11pm - children's afternoon with parade, costume awards and programme on the carnival stage
  • from 4.30pm - Crazy bike race
  • 6.31pm - Night parade through the pedestrian zone, followed by crazy entertainment in the market square.

Sunday 4 February 2024:

  • 10am - church service
  • from 11am - opening of the stalls and tents in the carnival village
  • 1.30 p.m. - Grand carnival parade down Kehl's main street, followed by wild entertainment in the market square.

Parade itineraries in Kehl

Itinerary of the Kehl's night parade on saturday
Itinerary of the Kehl's grande cavalcade on sunday

Practical information for attending the Carnival: times and prices

  • Dates: 3 and 4 February 2024.
  • Night Parade: Saturday evening from 6.31pm, with captivating lights and costumes.
  • Grande Cavalcade: Sunday afternoon from 1.30pm, a festive parade through the town centre.
  • Price: €3.50 for adults aged 16 and over, free for children.

Access from Strasbourg:

  • Tram: Line D to the "Kehl Bahnhof" stop.
  • Cycling: Cycle path along the tram line or via the footbridge at the Jardin des Deux-Rives.
  • Car: With the city centre blocked off, it will be difficult to get around and park. If you're going by car, I recommend that you park (early enough) in the Jardin des Deux-Rives car park and then walk the rest of the way.

How do you prepare for Kehl Carnival?

To make the most of Kehl Carnival, here are a few practical tips to help you get ready:

  • Choose your costume carefully: In the spirit of Carnival, everyone comes dressed up, young and old alike. Whether it's a historical figure, a fantastic creature or a fairytale hero, let your imagination run wild 😉
  • Dress warmly: Even if Carnival is there to chase away winter, don't forget that it's usually cold and you'll be outside for a long time. The double pair of socks, warm jacket with multiple layers underneath and gloves won't go amiss!
  • Come early: Both the night parade and the grand parade attract a lot of people. Plan to arrive early to get a good seat at the front.
  • Stand at the front, at your peril: The marching troops throw sweets and confetti. Expect to come back covered!

What's carnival like in Germany?

Carnival in Germany is marked by colourful parades, creative costumes and masquerade balls. Each region has its own characteristics, such as the women's parade (Weiberfastnacht) in the Rhineland and the confetti battles in Bavaria. It's a time for celebration and social and political satire, when the usual rules are suspended.

Why does the carnival season start on 11 November?

The tradition of starting carnival on 11 November at 11.11am dates back to the Middle Ages. This date marks the beginning of the "fifth season", a period of festivities that precedes Christian Lent, symbolising a moment of freedom and joy before the period of fasting.

When is Carnival in Germany?

Carnival in Germany takes place mainly before Ash Wednesday, with key events such as Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) and Faschingsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday). The date changes every year, as it is calculated according to the date of Easter in the Christian calendar.

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About Thibaut
Strasbourg Website
Strasbourgeois in love with my city, I make you discover my city through my photos and the places I appreciate. Also happy father of 2 little girls.
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