Happy Mondays

The Rosenmontag pre-Lent festival turns the streets of Cologne and Dusseldorf into carnivals of beer and good cheer every spring, writes Emma Cullinan.

9th March, 2014

I'm linking arms with a woolly mammoth and we are swaying, on a Saturday morning amid the shopping streets and central square of Cologne, to oompah music from a band on stage. Also performing are men dressed as fairytale soldiers, doing a dance loosely translated as the ''backside-push, poking fun (and each other) at military stiffness.

It's carnival season in the north-west Catholic part of Germany (a woman I meet from the Protestant east says...

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