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February, 2005 - Nr. 2


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Colorful parades at raucous Carnival

  TWIG - Thousands of revellers donned colourful costumes and filled the streets of cities across the Rhineland region of Germany for "Karneval" festivities culminating in the traditional Rose Monday processions.

Cologne, Mainz, Duesseldorf and Bonn were a few of the cities brought to a stand-still by the raucous celebrations. Even Berlin, far from the predominantly Roman-Catholic Rhineland, saw its share of Carnival fun.

In Cologne, Germany’s fourth-largest city and self-proclaimed Carnival capital, around 1.4 million people were on hand for festivities that got underway at 11 minutes to 11 a.m. on Monday in sunny but chilly weather.

The large crowds danced and sang as an estimated 10,000 people, many costumed as jesters, and 96 floats lumbered along a 3-mile route through the city center.

Carnival floats traditionally poke fun at politicians, and this year was no exception.

One showed Chancellor Schroeder dressed as a Spiderman tangled in a web of confused policy initiatives.

Another portrayed the German leader as a witch pursuing Hansel and Gretel figures that bore an uncanny resemblance to opposition leaders Angela Merkel and Edmund Stoiber.

Even the media came in for some good-natured ribbing with a float that lampooned leading papers’ dogged fight against new spelling rules.

Other floats took aim at penny-pinching German Finance Minister Hans Eichel and German soccer officials embarrassed by a recent scandal involving alleged bribe payments to a referee
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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