Cologne Carnival, Germany（德国科隆狂欢节）
Cologne Carnival, Germany
Location: Cologne, Germany
Time: In February for a week
Cologne Carnival is regarded as the largest and craziest carnival in Germany. To celebrate the winter solstice as homage to the gods and expulsion of the evil winter demons, ancient Germans wore masks and join the parade. This custom has remained to today.
The "fifth season" (carnival season) is declared open at 11:11 a.m. on the November 11th. It lasts for two to three months, but the time of merrymaking falls in the last week, which starts on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent. The week-long street festival, also called "the crazy days," takes place between the Fat Thursday and ends on Ash Wednesday, usually in February every year.
The highlight of the carnival is Rose Monday. Clowns and masqueraded folks are the main characters of the 6.5-mile-long parade. Their stunning performances attract more than 1 million spectators. The people along the street shout "Kölle Alaaf" ("Cologne above all") to greet each other, and grab candies and flowers thrown off from the parade. During the parade, all business activities are suspended, and everyone in the city is involved in the cheerful celebration.