How in Gods name could we NOT have covered the Carnival of Cultures, better known as Karneval der Kulturen in German, so far on FindingBerlin? One of the greatest and most visited events in our city, a massive spectacle for families and hedonists alike, the Carnival of Cultures offers everything for everyone and is the second kick-off into the summer after the First of May in Kreuzberg.
The “Karneval der Kulturen” is, as the name promises, a multicultural celebration taking place in Neukölln and Kreuzberg. And it’s a pretty old celebration as well, established in 1996, every year at whitsun and usually blessed by good weather (although not as religiously as the First of May — seriously, has anyone ever had a bad weather First of May?). Anyway, back to KdK: think of it as an explosive Love Parade minus the excessive drugs plus more families and lesser techno. But even more colorful, displaying all those wonderful nationalities and cultural heritages Berlin has to offer. From huge Brazilian communities to little Palestinian dance performances, the floats and wagons on the parade are an incredible sight. Peace, tolerance and loads of diversity are the key mottos of the festival — realizing how rare violent encounters happen in Berlin, I tend to appreciate these festivities even more. They teach the good life.
The Carnival has become more than a parade overtime. It has been extended to a four day event around Kreuzberg 61 with plenty of awesome food from all over the world (of course we ended up eating the habitual Köfte. I mean you can’t go wrong with Köfte.) and an additional parade for the children.
(By the way, I changed my opinion again: our Karneval der Kulturen is somewhat more impressive than the Notting Hill Carnival, even though it’s not as large and our taste in music still a bit vestigial. Nevermind though, I love both options. Are we going back to London this year?)
In the last years we’ve been avid visitors of the Sunday Carnival parade, but we were either enjoying the festivities too much to actually take pictures or we were simply lazy and didn’t want to carry our cameras around. This year our crew, although often separated within the masses and literally drowning in drama, was attached to their lenses and we are very proud to share our impressions with you. Colorful costumes, beautiful people, cheering and laughing faces, the blue sky and the bright sun, the mind blasting music and performances as well as the raves full of young people are the summary of what you can find in Berlin.
(I can’t get around giving the Horst Kreuzberg backyard party an extra-mention this year as they’ve saved my night after all! Big boom to OBJEKT!)