Just like anything else in life, Carnival comes and then it goes again. So many things and people pop in and out of our lives that it is important to appreciate them fully when they are present. It is just as crucial, however, to let them go when they are gone and to take the experience for what it was - no more and no less.
Carnival in Cologne is one of the biggest celebrations in Germany for letting it all hang out. People disguise themselves behind masks of characters they wish they were. The decision regarding next year's costume and make-up is not taken lightly by the serious revelers. They know that they will be throwing themselves into a large, cold crowd. Will others have similar costumes? Will they blend in or stick out? To what extent do they wish to shine? How much will they dare this year?
Blending out their everyday lives, they thrust themselves into the Fifth Season, the time of year during which different rules apply. The faithful side-step their vows, dieters down unhealthy amounts of sweets and alcoholics jump off the wagon into the streets which are paved with shards from beer, vodka and alcopop bottles.
Taking a break from the perceived boredom of everyday interactions, the Jecken set out on their search for a good time either alone or in groups. Often not aware of their limits, they end up making fools of themselves, but do they regret anything afterwards?
Meanwhile, the parade passes by, tons of candy are thrown into the cheering crowds and the lonely hearts are still waiting for their lovers.