The Carnival of Cultures is of special importance to Berlin's ethnic communities. Berlin is a city with a large international population. Among the 3.4 million inhabitants of the German capital 450.000 do not have the German citizen-ship. Many more have a mixed ethnic background. The Carnival of Cultures presents the cultural and ethnic diversity of Berlin. In 2012, 1.28 million visitors celebrated at the street festival and the parade. About 4.800 professional and non-professional performers of all age groups took part in the parade on Whitsunday, accompanied by colourfully decorated floats. 900 artists performed during the four-day street festival. The Carnival of Cultures is open to everybody and all forms of cultural expression. It is regarded as a platform for a proud expression of hybrid cultural identities, containing traditional and contemporary elements. It includes and attracts all age groups, professional artists and amateurs, people from all walks of life.
Large numbers of young people are involved in carnival activities, many of them coming from multi-ethnic or difficult social and economic backgrounds. While participating in the preparation for the carnival, many of them develop a level of commitment and reliability most unusual in their daily life. Many bands from Berlin's wide-ranging live and electronic music scene as well as theatre and art groups add their aesthetic visions to this sensual and joyful celebration. Berlins Carnival has been inspired by modern European carnivals like the Notting Hill Carnival in London and the Rotterdam Zomercarnaval. It has taken in elements of many traditional carnivals and celebrations from all over the world. By being open to cultural rites, customs and traditions it attracts performers from countries without carnival traditions. The inclusion of all these elements makes the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin quite unique.
Carnival is one of the oldest celebrations in the world. It developed in ancient Europe, then travelled to the Caribbean, South-America and Africa in colonial times and finally – centuries later – sent back impulses to a culturally, socially and demographically changed Europe. These changed circumstances heavily influenced many contemporary urban carnivals today, making a strong point of the cultural expressions and aesthetic visions of migrants.
Street Festival at Blücherplatz from 11 to 24 o'clock (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
U-Bahn station "Hallesches Tor" lines U 1 + U 6
U-Bahn station "Mehringdamm" lines U 6 + U 7