Traditions in the Rhineland Carnival floats in Cologne hit out at Putin and vaccination opponents

Cologne · Climate crisis, a new chancellor, and the Corona pandemic: Cologne Carnival is also skewering current issues in a slimmed-down parade. This time they are targeting Putin and vaccination opponents.

 These are some of the wagons of this year’s parade.

These are some of the wagons of this year’s parade.

Foto: dpa/Federico Gambarini

The climate crisis, a new chancellor and the Corona pandemic: Cologne Carnival also skewers current topics in a slimmed-down parade. On Tuesday, the festival committee gave a glimpse of 20 persiflage floats that will be shown on Rose Monday. Russian President Putin is hammering out a new Soviet Union like a child. Belarus' ruler Lukashenko shows wolf's teeth and bludgeons the democracy movement. To portray former Chancellor Angela Merkel, all she needs is her characteristic gesture, the rhombus.

"Persiflage remains our instrument to hold a mirror up to the authorities," said Holger Kirsch, the head of the Cologne Shrove Monday procession, on Tuesday. Two theme floats remain secret for the time being.

This year, the carnival floats will not make their grand entrance as usual in the long procession through the city. Because of the Corona pandemic, the Shrove Monday procession will only pass through the Rheinen Energy Stadium on a 300-metre long route in front of 8,800 spectators. Afterwards, the floats with the critical-ironic motifs are set up at twelve locations along the rest of the procession route in Cologne: illuminated for 24 hours. The motto of the session is: "Alles hät sing Zick“, meaning “Everything in its own time“.

The float builders bitingly depict the conflict in the CDU/CSU parties during the Bundestag election campaign: CSU leader Markus Söder wields a club as a Stone Age man, dragging the knocked-out former chancellor candidate Armin Laschet behind him. Chancellor Olaf Scholz lacks leadership, according to the carnivalists, in the Ukraine crisis or with Corona. A silhouette of the politician is shown in front of the Chancellery.

The "Swine priests before the Lord" float takes up the issue of the abuse scandal in the Cologne archdiocese. A float with a giant pistol is dedicated to vaccination opponents who, according to the festival committee, "drive the incidence of vaccination through the roof".

This year's Shrove Monday procession will feature about 4,700 participants from 65 carnival societies. Floats, dance groups, marching bands, horses and carriages are also part of the parade.

Original text: ga/dpa

Translation: Mareike Graepel

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