Carnival festivities have officially begun throughout Germany's Rhineland. The annual celebrations are held each year in the last week before Lent and are marked by bright costumes and high spirits.
At precisely 11:11 a.m. on Thursday, Carnival festivities officially kicked off throughout Germany’s Rhineland, particularly in Mainz, Düsseldorf and Cologne, where this photo was taken.
This Thursday is known as "Weiberfastnacht," or Women's Day. To celebrate, women often cut off men's ties, symbolically taking over control of their cities for the day.
The Rhineland Carnival is held each year in the last week before Lent, which is the 40-day religious period before Easter observed by Christians around the world.
Between Thursday morning and Ash Wednesday, the Rhineland is transformed by daily partying complete with costumes, copious amounts of alcohol and parades.
The biggest parades are held on Monday, which is known as Rose Monday. Candies and sweets are thrown to the crowd aboard floats that are often used to poke fun at German politicians.
Carnival is also celebrated in other regions of Germany. However, it sometimes goes by different names, such as Fasching, as it is known in the south.
Author: Holly Cooper
hc/dr (dpa, AP)
Thousands of Germans dressed in colorful and creative costumes have braved the cold and rainy weather on Saturday to mark the beginning of carnival season, also known as the "fifth season" in the country.
About 2,000 activists, some dressed in costumes, took to the streets in Bonn demanding urgent action to fight climate change. The colorful protests coincided with the beginning of the Carnival season in Germany.
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