In the Rhineland, carnival is called the 'fifth season'. Today thousands of people in Cologne celebrated the beginning of the carnival period, which goes until February, in Germany.
No other city in Germany has as many songs about "Heimat," expressing the feeling of home, as Cologne. Groups of people gather to sing together about their local patriotism, and not only during Carnival.
Attention Carnival fans: Be aware that it can be a cruel fate to live in the Rhineland if you are a non-reveler. For when the yearly festivity comes to town it is accompanied by heavy drinking, garbage and aggression.
Berlin residents originally from the Rhineland who love to celebrate carnival have tried to import the fun and partying to the German capital — in vain, as DW columnist Gero Schliess observes.
Carnival is fast approaching in Germany's Rhineland. Huge parades on Rose Monday — which falls on February 12 this year — are a highlight. Some of the elaborate float designs have already been unveiled.
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