In the Rhineland, Carnival would be unthinkable without the dancing girls known as Funkenmariechen. To get into shape, the dancers train all year long, because the acrobatic routines are very strenuous.
The Holzmarkt in Berlin was once home to a legendary club: Bar 25. Now, the former owners have opened a chic village in the same spot. But instead of a hippie utopia, it's all about business, says Gero Schliess.
A charity ball in Raindorf has launched a debate in Germany over its use of a derogatory term for black people. The locals have defended the name as "a normal term" in Bavaria's dialect, while critics say it's offensive.
Women take charge of men on the Thursday before Carnival, cut off their ties and give them a kiss. It's a tradition that hails from an era when women's rights were non-existent.
Rio de Janeiro's first feminist samba block is rallying behind a campaign for a safe Carnival. They hope to stamp out the notion the year's biggest party is no place for a decent woman, Clare Richardson reports.
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