Christopher Street Day sees hundreds of thousands of people descend on the city of Berlin to party, parade and be proud, all in the name of the LGBT community.
This annual celebration is held in remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that took place after a police raid on a gay club, The Stonewall Inn, on Christopher Street. This was one of the first times that protests were held for the social and political rights of homosexuals, and it has become a significant day in US and international history.
Christopher Street Day also represents the positive LGBT message that Berlin, and the whole of Germany, want to share – showing the country as accepting and a place welcoming of all people.
Every year since 1979, Berlin has chosen to celebrate Christopher Street Day, and the event is now considered one of the biggest and best parades of its kind in Europe. Up to 500,000 attend every year to have fun while promoting the serious political message of equality for all sexualities.
Often, to prepare for the festival, people attend various other events around Cologne and Germany, including the famous Lesbian and Gay City Festival at Nollendorfplatz the weekend before. There’s also ColognePride, which takes place across two weeks, ending on July 5th
with the main parade and final celebrations.
Going into its 36th
year this year, Christopher Street day is an explosion of colourful parades, extravagant outfits and vibrant festivals. The city sees half a million people, all together in high spirits, honouring the past and campaigning for the future of the LGBT community, while having an amazing time in this welcoming and diverse country.
Christopher Street Day is held in Berlin on June 27 and in Cologne from July 3 – 5.
Words by KARL HUGHES
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