Monday, 7 March 2011

Carnival - German style ...

Watching the Carnival in Frankfurt yesterdayI was struck by the fact that young, old and in between throw everything into this wonderful bit of celebrating their culture, their history and their present. "Carnival Clubs" spend most of the year planning, building and preparing their entries for the parades which take place on the weekend before Lent, the biggest happening on "Rosenmontag" (Rose Monday) and are televised. Today we have watched the parades in Mainz, Cologne and Dusseldorf courtesy of the ZDF television station and enjoyed the fun of watching politicians, religious figures and others in the news get a bit of stick - and the crowds enjoying the efforts of assorted brass bands, "City Guards," dance troupes, gymnasts and clubs mixed with and supported by a variety of businesses as they threw a party to end all parties.

In Cologne alone 300 tons of sweets were thrown from the floats and collected by the scampering kids. Bunches of flowers, packs of sauages, bags of bread and the ever popular "Berliner" - a jam filled doughnut - were also thrown, sold and distributed. The crowds numbered in the hundreds of thousands and the parades were huge - in Mainz the parade route is 7.2 kilometres and the parade procession itself was 7 kilometres in length. In Cologne the procession was 6.5 kilometres on a route of about 7 and so it goes on.

The pictures here are from my mobile phone and taken yesterday in Frankfurt. In my mind these parades are what bind people to their culture, they give an identity and they link the young to the old as each generation brings something of its own to the fun. It has been huge fun all weekend...


  1. It was, and it made me realise what we have allowed our political masters in the UK to destroy. There was a very real sense of "identity" to these parades, while the only one I can think of in the UK has nothing "English" or even "British" to commend it.