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Photographer's Note

Usualy so called civilized people don’t like to be potographed by unknown ones. But in the carnival time, everything is others… Last year I was on the streets of Cologne during the carnival, on Monday, and wondered how ready people was to be potographed.
Let me start a short “documentation” of those days with this one

The organized carnival like it is being celebrated today only dates back 178 years.
The Greeks and Romans celebrated cheerful spring festivals in honour of Dionysos and Saturn with wine, women and singing. The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice as a homage to the gods and expulsion of the evil winter demons. Later the Christians adopted the heathen customs. The period of fasting (Lent) prior to Easter was heralded in by "Fastnacht" or "Karnival" - carne vale = Farewell to meat!
In the Middle Ages, the celebration of Carnival, the masquerade often took on drastic forms, which was very much to the displeasure of the city council and the church. Bans and ordinances did little to help, the celebration was still wild and spirited. The boisterous street carnival was extended in the 18th century to include the so-called "Redouten", elegantly masked and fancy-dress balls in Venetian style, which were initially the preserve of the aristocracy and the wealthy patricians.

The "fifth season of the year" as Carnival is called, begins on November 11th at 11:11 AM. But the real "crazy days" do not start before the so-called Weiberfastnacht (Shrove Thursday), the Thursday before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday). The "crazy days" of Carnival are celebrated with parties on the streets, in public squares and in pubs. Closing times for pubs and bars are suspended for the duration of the festival.
For more: Cologne Carnival

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Additional Photos by Janos Sofalvi (joso) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 754 W: 206 N: 378] (2417)
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