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Cologne Carnival kicks off today
Carnival season hits Cologne today (19th February 2009) and travelers in locals hostels should prepare themselves for a few weeks of dancing in the streets.
The long-standing traditional celebration, which was a fixture in Cologne's events calendar long before the Festordnendes Komitee made it an official event in 1823, is a celebration of Rose Monday.
Cologne's Old Town will be transformed during the festivities, with Women's Carnival Day taking place today.
A series of parades and processions will follow and travelers in Cologne will be able to join in the free and fun-packed festivities.
Backpackers can also pop in to the Cologne Carnival Museum, which charts the development of carnival over the ages.
Exhibits are entitled the Lent and Shrovetide, Commedia dell'Arte, Carnival in Crisis and Carnival during Germany's Economic Miracle.
The exhibition explores the various aspects of carnival as well as uncovering the stories behind the performers and musicians responsible for bringing carnival to life.