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Europe, Euros and Europeans: More Carnival Than Ever?

  • February 23rd, 2007
  • Posted by EUA Editor

carnival-nurses.jpgFour out-to-be-cute TV “nurses” are actually marking a day in the religious calendar, as they take the train to Karneval events at Cologne, in Germany.

Unready observers in the streets of German cities risk being bowled over by assorted ecclesiastical figures, vampires, ghosts, damsels or dragons, as Shrove Tuesday begins.

The year 2007 was no exception, several unready observers commenting that the milling and parading crowds, on Tuesday 20.2.07, were bigger than ever.

The occasion was the last day of a long carnival which in some cities will run for months, intending participants getting into practice, wearing their costumes out to theatres or the pub.

Things come to a climax with mardi gras parades the day before Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent.

The day of the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday, was initially known in France as mardi gras, or “fat Tuesday” – the day to use up heavy ingredients, like eggs in a pancake, and, well, have a party, before the time of sacrifice was due to set in.