Carnival kicks off in Germany's Rhineland region with costumes, parties and plenty of beer. DW presents an insider's look at the one-of-a-kind festivities.
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.
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