Location: Cologne, Germany
Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:
I guess if anyone were to ask me when is the time to visit Cologne for some unique experience, my answer would be during Carnival, one of the "crazy days" in Germany. The most happening day is on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) but I was only able to visit on Sunday. Even so, the day was filled with carnival goers and festivities, enough for me to return brimming with memories.
Carnival starts in exactly 11.11am on 11-November every year but merrymaking period officially starts on the week before Lent, with some people dress up in costumes and roam the streets. Although there are carnivals around Europe, Cologne's is rated as one of the largest street festivals. On my arrival that Sunday, Cologne was unlike its usual self. I saw people in colorful and weird costumes even as I stepped off the train into Cologne Hbf, each merrily making their way around. I was surprised that the usually serious Germans can have so much fun in them!
|If this is in a Chinese place, all those papers flying around would remind me of a funeral... :(|
|Officers can show a happy side of their job sometimes...|
|From the old to the young, everyone have fun|
|Banana and balloons|
There was a parade organized for the day beginning near noon and most of the city was cordoned off. Some people were dressed up in medieval costumes but there were some dressing up along modern pop culture themes. From the elder to the young, I could feel the festivities in the air.
The Sunday parade was for participating Cologne schools, and as my friend brought me around for nice vantage points, I saw floats decorated in the most creative ways. Most were fantastically beautiful, and even the mediocre ones exuded hard work and pride behind the students' creation. Interestingly most of the floats were in reality tractors in disguise behind colorful exteriors. Some of the parade floats had their occupants throwing bags of candies to all parade goers celebrating the fun and naturally I got myself a few generous bags.
|I like this uniform, they look magnificent!|
|Mom, I want more bun...|
|A vote for me!|
|Now this one is colorful!|
|Whatcha looking at?|
|Tractor in disguise|
Although I am not a fan of crowds, I still enjoy the festivities surrounding this Carnival event. It shows a different side of a culture from their usual way, and it goes to show that there is an inner child in all of us, even the most serious of people.