Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mad for Karneval

In Cologne Karneval time is so important that it has been named as the fifth ‘season’, kicking off with a whirlwind day of costumed alcohol consumption on 11th November (‘Elfter Elfter’) and culminating in a six-day party extravaganza in February. This is no tourist event or youth rebellion; here the overwhelmingly native German crowd brings together the fresh-faced, newly legal drinker and the veteran Karneval-goer in a mass of crazy, ridiculous, and often entirely impractical outfits in order to celebrate… well I have no idea what actually, perhaps beer? Or the quashing of the German stiff ‘n’ sensible stereotype? Certainly watching my boyfriend flail his arms around gaily whilst dressed in a ghastly old blue wetsuit and entirely random mullet wig made me stop and think – we were wrong all along; the Germans DO have a sense of humour, we just don’t get it!*