People who like to dress up in fancy dresses or costumes and be somebody else have until Feb. 28 to do so. They can do it as long as Germany celebrates its “fifth season” or “crazy season.” Different areas in Germany have different names for this season of disguise, being crazy and wild, cheering up and having fun. In the Pfalz it’s called “Fassenacht” or “Fastnacht,” in Bavaria it’s “Fasching” and in the Cologne area it’s “Karneval.”
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Wednesday is St. Martin’s Day, and children and parents will walk in lantern processions that evening or the night prior to honor St. Martin, the patron of the poor and friend of children.