The festive season is over, life is mirrored by weather, a bit colder, perhaps feeling a little emptier, and yes it is on its way but nevertheless spring still seems a long way off.
However in Germany preparations are already underway for the �Fifth Season�.
Karneval, Fastnacht and Fasching, the German festival of �foolishness� that paves the way for Lent, but as a ritual to drive away evil spirits before the arrival of spring and the planting season has been celebrated since pagan times, is a bit later than usual this year, nevertheless some of the 'partying' has been taking place already since Epiphany.
Over the centuries it has had a secondary use too, during times of religious or civil occupation it was used to mock the authorities in power. And this is something that it does still, often very effectively.A 'Mardi Gras' in Germany Faschingskrapfen, A Carnival Jelly Doughnut Recipe
Francine McKenna-Klein - German Culture Editor German Culture Site
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Avatar: HOHENZOLLERNBRUECKE Cologne, the CATHEDRAL and LUDWIG MUSEUM. Photo "Der Wolf im Wald". The EU won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Peace and "The European Dove of Peace 2012" by Plantu is added. Western Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history.