The „Fifth Season“: Bonn celebrates Carnival
Those among you who have lived in Bonn for more than a year, know: the Rhineland has not only the usual four, but at least five seasons! And for many people the fifth season, Carnival, is the best one!
This extra season begins on the eleventh of November at eleven hours and eleven minutes with Carnival balls and parties and a lot of other festivities. The climax will be reached between Women’s Carnival ("Weiberfastnacht" - Thursday preceding Shrove Monday/Rose Monday) and Ash Wednesday, when all of the Rhineland tumbles into a state of complete craziness.
Carnival Highlights 2019/2020
11 November 2019: Start of the "Fifth Season"
20 February 2020: Women's Carnival
23 February 2020: Storming of the Old Town Hall
24 February 2020: Monday
26 February 2020: Ash Wednesday - end of the season
Every spring there is a special natural event to be admired in Bonn´s old town, the creative handcraft and citizen´s district: Countless cherry trees unfold their full flowering splendor in the first warmer days of April and transform the streets into a sea of pink flowers.
The most impressive is the cherry blossom in Heerstraße and Breite Straße. These roads resemble a real cherry blossom tunnel for a few days.
„Rhine in Flames“
Magnificent fireworks and Bengal lights attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from Germany and abroad.
If you wish to gain an extraordinary impression of Bonn and its region you should travel to this Federal City on the first May weekend. For it is then that pyrotechnical specialists set the Rhine aflame, creating a spectacular show of light. Once a year, "The Rhine in Flames along the Siebengebirge” (Rhein in Flammen am Siebengebirge) is organised between Linz and Bonn. The river banks and numerous landmarks and sights are bathed in magic colours. Along the Rhine promenades of Linz, Remagen, Rheinbreitbach, Unkel, Bad Honnef, Königswinter, Niederdollendorf and Bonn, 2,000 red Bengal lights and five fireworks add an incomparable ambience to the Rhine Valley that night. That is why this event attracts so many viewers from Germany and abroad to one of the most scenic regions of Germany.
With dusk falling, a fleet of over 60 illuminated ships starts floating down the legendary river to Bonn. There the 25,000 passengers on board and tens of thousands of spectators ashore watch the evening’s highlight, a firework of the international premium class. For over 20 minutes, the bright colours of rockets, bombs, flickering stars and pyrotechnical novelties cast a spell over the visitors in the Rheinaue Leisure Park, the grounds of the National Horticultural Show of 1979. Year after year, all of this is accompanied by music which can be received by radio and so guarantees a unique experience in every corner of the park. If you wish to witness a unique ambience and see unforgettable images you should earmark next spring for a visit to Bonn.
„Pützchens Markt“, Bonn´s giant fair in September
Every year on the second weekend of September, "Pützchens Markt” (vernacular for "Fair of the Well”) offers attractions of all kinds, with something for everyone: from action and adventure to food, drink and sweets, and a host of other things in between. It is one of Germany´s biggest fairs in terms of turnover. Visitors will once again find the successful mixture of traditional merry-go-rounds, modern fun-fair high-tech and nostalgic stalls. Approximately 550 businesses with a front length of 4.5 kilometres will present whatever goods and services they have to offer on the 80.000 square metres fair-ground. Over the last few years, the spectacle attracted around one million visitors every time.
The Europa Ferris Wheel can be seen from afar already while the fair is still under construction. This Big Wheel with its open and rotating gondolas is the tallest of its kind worldwide and has been the landmark of Pützchens Markt for many years. Traditionally the fair will be opened by the Lord Mayor, broaching the first keg of beer on Friday. That is also where a religious service will be celebrated on Sunday morning, attended by about 2.000 faithful every year. The end of the fair is marked by a grand fireworks around ten o´clock on Tuesday night.
The Christian Legend around „Pützchens Markt“
The roots of this fair go back to the worship of Saint Adelaide. Around the turn of the first millennium she provided food to the poor. It was then already that the first pilgrims came to her monastery at Vilich. When in a period of great drought Abbess Adelaide thrust her crosier into the ground, water began to well up. The village was named after this well (Pütz, diminutive: Pützchen). Up to this day, believers hope to be healed by the well´s water. Pützchen is said to have become a place of pilgrimage around the middle of the 14th century. Soon traders started to set up tents and stalls to sell their goods. Gradually, a fair developed which continued to expand and to diversify in the course of time: traders, travelling people, wandering minstrels and entertainers, tamers and circus performers kept coming over time. Pützchens Markt had been born.
Saint Martin's Parade
It is very likely that you will see one of many Saint Martin's parades around the town in the beginning of November. There will be over fifty of these parades in Bonn's city districts these days.
The great parade in the city center will take place on Friday, 8 November.
Dressed up as a Roman soldier riding his horse, Saint Martin is heading the beautiful parade, which begins at 5.15 p.m. on the Münsterplatz. Several hundred childrem follow him, holding colorful lanterns in their hands and singing Martin's songs. After the parade the children expect a little treat - like some chocolate or gummy bears.
The Martin Parade commemorates the legend of Saint Martin. In the winter of the year 334 the Roman officer saw a beggar in the street - half frozen. Martin took his sword, divided his warm cloak into two pieces and gave half of it to the poor man.
After his death, Saint Martin was honored with an annual candlelight procession on the eve of his commemoration day, on 11 November.
Atmospheric Christmas fairs - from November 22 - December 23, 2019
Every year, Bonn's Christmas fair conjures up a festive atmosphere on Münsterplatz and Bottlerplatz, on Windeckstrasse, Vivatsgasse, Friedensplatz and Poststrasse. Especially the atmospherically illuminated facades around the Münsterplatz form a festive scenery for the market booths.
Bonn’s Christmas Markets attune everybody to the coming festive days. An unmistakable smell enchants Bonn’s centre, a mixture of gingerbread, potato pancake, fried sausage, burnt almonds, Koelsch beer and Glühwein - mulled wine.
Not only the fragrances of the central and district Christmas markets make them so attractive, but also the hustle and bustle of people and the good mood that reigns in these nicely decorated "Christmas Villages”. Somehow, people seem to be in a friendlier frame of mind towards the end of the year, you meet with friends and acquaintances, or simply come across them. And it is also a feast for the eye: in addition to their admittedly commercial background, the markets have also an emotional impact and even people with less romantic inclinations like them.
Every year Bonn’s central Christmas market attracts visitors from all over Germany and from neighbouring countries.
The Fair is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It will remain closed on Sunday, 24 November 2019, as this holiday is devoted to the commemoration of the dead.