Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures), Berlin

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There are many festivals to look forward to in spring/summer in Berlin. One of my favourites is the Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures), held in May over the Pentecost / Whitsun weekend. There is a street festival in the area between Hallesches Tor and Mehringdam U bahn stations (Blücherplatz) where you can taste food and drinks from around the world, watch performers on the various stages and browse the clothing and craft items for sale. The last few years I’ve visited this on Friday evening and tried things like kriek (cherry beer from Belgium), mango beer from Ghana, baumkuchen, garlic bread, Jamaican chicken, and other treats. This festival is also famous for its very strong caipirinhas and mohitos!

On Sunday there is then a large parade starting at Hermannplatz and continuing for many hours. We heard that this year there were 110 floats, and we lasted for about 60 of them as it was a scorchingly hot day. The best floats seemed to arrive earlier anyway, with countries from all over the world showing their beautiful traditional costumes. As the procession went on it was more the party floats that were coming through, with many people following them, dancing with drinks in hand. It’s amazing how many different countries are represented, and it’s a reminder of how cosmopolitan Berlin is.

 

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