We had a great night on Monday 4th March at the Black Swan (Westbury-On-Trym). Rosenmontag is a big party to enjoy the last days before the privations of Lent – in other parts of Europe better known as Mardi Gras. The centre of the German Karneval is in Köln (Cologne), with an enormous procession, which takes place on the Monday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. A fine buffet together with music (including song sheets) and projections of an actual event in 2016 (attended by Ann & Tony) made sure fun was had by all!
The Rosenmontag ‘Zug’ (procession) has many floats, some of them very political (this year there was much talk of Brexit, and a float with a huge figure of Theresa May, with a long nose and a small man with a Union Flag hat, hanging on to her nose, holding a small case labelled ‘Economy’), there are clowns, colourfully dressed members of the Karnevalsgesellschaften, who spend all year organising the next Rosenmontag!! There are hundreds of ‘Mariechen’ processing through on men’s shoulders or doing acrobatics, sweets and bars of chocolate are thrown to the crowd, with cries of ‘Kamelle!’ and lots of children – the main procession takes about 4 hours to go past any given spot, and there are also smaller district processions. Altogether a good time is had by all, and once all the massive structures which have been set up are deconstructed, Köln is ready in double-quick time for the onset of the privations of Lent!