Germany gets into the party spirit with annual celebrations in Cologne marking the start of the Carnival season. Elly Park reports.
It's an annual ceremony kicking off one of Europe's biggest festivals. Every year on the 11th of November, at 11 minutes past 11 o' clock, Germans gather to celebrate the start of their Carnival season. The festivities here at Cologne are the biggest and the most famous, attracting visitors from afar. SOUNDBITE: Participant, Helga Schoen, saying (German) "[We came] six hours with the train to Cologne and the atmosphere, the cathedral, city hall, it touches the heart." SOUNDBITE: Participant, Ellen Schmitz, saying (German) "Whether it seems like rain or the sun is shining doesn't matter. The most important thing is it's November 11." Also known as the "Fifth Season" the festival initially launches for a week, takes a break for the Christmas period and picks up in the New Year until Ash Wednesday.