As Cologne gears up for Carnival, there's not only excitement in the air. There's actually quite a bit of anxiety, with memories of the New Year's Eve sexual assaults fresh in people's minds. But will it affect the festivities?
Women take charge of men on Carnival Thursday by cutting off their ties and giving them a kiss. The tradition hails from an era when women's rights didn't exist. This year, the #MeToo movement is also leaving its mark.
The traditional Carnival celebrations in Cologne took a tragic turn when a policeman was mowed down by a tram. Police suspect it was a case of murder, although the judge is not convinced.
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.
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