Ghost train

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At the 2009 Ghost Train in Cologne-Rodenkirchen

A ghost parade is an alternative carnival procession and a political demonstration in Cologne on the evening of Carnival Saturday. It is often referred to as "organized anarchy ".

History and character

There have been ghost trains in the Cologne Carnival since 1860 , this train was banned in World War I.

When the Cologne Rose Monday procession was canceled in 1991 because of the 2nd Gulf War , an anti-Gulf War demonstration was to take place on the usual route of the Rose Monday procession. Ultimately, anti-war demonstrators and carnivalists walked through downtown Cologne together.

Due to the success, the second ghost procession took place on Carnival Saturday of the following year (February 29, 1992), after which it continued annually. The organizer is an association founded especially for this purpose, the “Ähzebär un Ko eV”, named after a traditional carnival mask ( pea bear ). This association also bears - financed by donations - the costs caused by barriers, street cleaning etc. The ghost train of the year 2000 was canceled at short notice because the donated money was not enough to carry out the train. However, since the route was already known, 4,000 alternative carnivalists moved through Cologne.

In the ghost train everyone can walk through the streets spontaneously and without prior registration as a ghost or dark figure. The route changes annually and is deliberately laid out so that vehicles cannot participate; electrical music is also not welcome. Every year, the train has a motto that is usually inspired by current political events. The route of the train is often chosen in such a way that it passes places that are related to this issue. For example, the 2005 ghost parade ended according to the motto (Iesije Zigge - Eisige Zeiten) at the Cologne ice stadium in Lentstrasse.

The official 2006 ghost train was originally canceled by the organizers due to a lack of money. Due to its great popularity, it was assumed that in the event of such a failure one or more wild ghost trains would have taken place. For this reason, the police and city administration approached the organizers with the request to register a train after all. Otherwise, it was said, it would have been necessary to "consistently resolve" the trains. Then under the motto “Us dr Lamäng. Jeister am Engk? ” (For example:“ Impromptu . Ghosts at the end? ”) The official ghost parade was carried out at short notice. The motto should point to the uncertain present and future of the train. Nevertheless, a smaller, unannounced “alternative” ghost parade took place in the Ehrenfeld district, which satirized the social marketing campaign of the same name under the motto “ You are Germany ” . The 2012 Ghost Parade was canceled due to high security requirements after the accident at the Love Parade 2010 .

Previous trains

year motto Motto in standard German Attendees

(* = including spectators)

1991 Camels instead of bombs Candy instead of bombs
1992 D'r Ähzebär kütt The pea bear is coming 10,000
1993 Me'm Düvel op Jöck On the road with the devil 15,000
1994 Witches' Sabbath 20,000
1995 Beddelsäck, Spetzbove, Malötzije and other decent Lück Begging bags, rascals, sick people and other decent people 15,000
1996 Once the world gets foolish, it soon becomes sane 100,000 *
1997 African dreams 150,000 *
1998 In Kölle for d'r Bessem - but Edelwieß and Klagemuur are not lost The broom sweeps in Cologne - but edelweiss and the Western Wall have not been forgotten 60,000
1999 Klüngel, stacks, ..., flöck derlans jeflutsch Klüngel, stacks, ..., slipped quickly past 30,000
2000 Chat, bläck, left, jäl, schräje Jecke trecke peel Black, naked, left, yellow, crazy jockeys are crazy 4,000
2001 Carnival and Thiater hammer every jän, he Kölle - jev us a warm rän Everyone loves carnival and theater, hey Cologne - give us a warm rain 25,000
2002 Let mer melt Let's melt 20,000
2003 Colonia Corrupta !? Cologne corrupt !? 30,000
2004 Reforms and social development dun wieh, no one bring us to their knees! Reforms and welfare cuts hurt, but nobody is bringing us to our knees! 200,000 *
2005 Iesije Zigge Icy times 40,000
2006 Us dr Lamäng. Jeister am Engk? (official)
You are Germany (alternative)
Off the cuff. Ghosts at the end?
2007 Ming Ahl's Kölsche My old man (partner) is from Cologne 40,000
2008 Mother Ääd has a hot flush Mother earth has hot flashes
2009 Dr Volljöhrije Ähzebär, the Meddelschich and other poor church meals The adult pea bear, the middle class and other poor church mice 20,000
2010 Da Agrippina show yours: Vum Flottekastell noh dr Huhpooz In honor of Agrippina : from the fleet fort to the high gate 20,000
2011 Da Agrippina show you: Lans dr Stroß vun Zülpich noh de Therme In honor of Agrippina: Along the road from Zülpich to the thermal baths 30,000
2013 Da Agrippina show you: Lans dr Stroß vun Venlo noh dr Ahle Ihrpooz In honor of Agrippina: Along the road that comes from Venlo to the old honor gate
2014 Da Agrippina show you: Lans dr Stroß vun Xanten noh dr Paffepooz In honor of Agrippina: Along the road that comes from Xanten to the Roman north gate 100,000 *
2015 Da Agrippina ze your: Lans dr Roman Muur In honor of Agrippina: Along the Roman wall 20,000 *
2016 The Agrippina and the Roman fleet are yours: Dä Rhing erop In honor of Agrippina and the Roman fleet: Up the Rhine 2,000
2017 Dr Roman Flott ze your: Öm de Alteburch eröm The Roman fleet in honor: Around the Old Castle around 2,500
2018 Poppe, net Kloppe - mer trecke för dr Fridde Pop, not beat - on the way for peace
2019 Kölle cries the collapse - mieh space for Rädcher Cologne collapses - more space for bicycles
2020 Jeister for Zokunf Ghosts for the future


  • Ghost procession: the wild night of the Cologne Carnival . Photo tape. Stress Reduction Publishing House, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-00-032459-8 .
  • Cologne's ghost train on Valentine's Day 2015 . Photo tape. CreateSpace, Charleston 2015, ISBN 978-1-5088-1514-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. Ähzebär. Jeckes ABC. In: February 6, 2002, accessed February 7, 2016 .
  2. Ghost procession: choose another way. In: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger . January 6, 2012, accessed March 2, 2014 .
  3. The ghost trains so far. Retrieved March 4, 2019 .
  4. Ett woor beautiful, ett woor bunk, ett woor loud,… March 2, 2014, accessed on March 3, 2014 (Facebook post of the organizers).

Web links