art, culture, landscape, nature, photography, review, seasons, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Carnival Season

Here in my area we have two of the German carnival capitols: Cologne and Duesseldorf. Carnival festivities take place in the public as well as in many indoor locations. Carnival season starts on November 11th and lasts until Ash Wednesday (the exact date differs each year, because carnival depends on Easter. On that day the Lenten season starts for 40 days ’til Easter)

How are these festivities related? The bible tells us the background.

Easter = resurrection = Jesus Christ rose from his grave
Good Friday = Jesus was nailed on the cross, died and was buried

This festivity is the most important celebration in Christian believes.

Because of Jesus himself lentened for 40 days to strengthen his own belief, there is a 40 day Lenten period.

The word ‘carnival’ has it’s origin in Latin: carne = meat + val = without. It marks the beginning of the 40 day Lenten period.

In medieval times, people started to celebrate before the Lenten period started and to use up nearly all of the food remaining from last year. So, these supplies were used for big festivities (also celebrating the end of the winter). During these days, the established hirachy were turned upside down: the fool became mayor and everyone masqueraded. For one of the days, the Thursday I mentioned in the first paragraph, even became power: they were allowed to reign for 1 day (Altweiber / Weiberfastnacht). All of these isn’t meant serious, but foolish, because everything is turned upside down.

The magic number of carnival is the 11, because you can turn it upside down and it’s still the same.

Over the centuries, carnival starts now on November 11th at 11:11. On that date, the indoor festivities start. These are meetings with a president, a meeting committee and lots of speeches (all funny but usually political). This type of carnival was a foolish reaction to the strict government by the Pruss and Napoleons France. The participants wear costumes inspired by official uniforms of that times soldiers, but with a funny skirt or flouncy sleeves. They also play special music. Often played by marching bands looking like they were kidnapped from the 17th century. Simple melodies and very foolish lyrics (easy to remember, even when drunk).

Starting from Altweiber, the carnival festivities encroach to the streets. Carnival music floods the streets and the radio stations. Carnival meetings are broadcasted by some TV stations. While you won’t remark all of this during winter, is nearly impossible to ignore it during the last week before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday).

Not everyone likes this!
One of my friends works in the middle of Cologne. Even during the days marking the summit of the carnival festivities (Thursday to Tuesday), when the silly music with their haunting melodies creating earworms to eat up the remains of your mind. Most of the businesses in areas with such a long tradition of celebrating carnival that intense, are closed for these days, because no customer would come, the employees won’t be usable (too tired and drunk) and drunk people probably would trash the unsecured rooms.

His company does not close, because they have also to support customers in areas, where carnival isn’t a topic at all. So, he goes on vacation. Some other friends of us, also working in similar areas, where they don’t have to work. My company office at that time was located in Duesseldorf, but a bit out of the center. So, I left the office always early to avoid encountering with drunk people.

Because all of this, he got the idea, to use these days for a short trip and our annual carnival escape was born.

Over the years we usually visited a famous city in the south, but also Berlin and London. Not everyone was able to take part in every trip. So you won’t find all of them here.

This time was different. Despite we were traveling south, we didn’t the reach the warmer mediterranean countries. Instead, we stopped in the Bavarian Alps for a hot-air balloon flight.

Take care!

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art, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, sport, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: WIM


2012-09-02 : 5 years ago I did my first flight with a hot air balloon during W.I.M. 2012

Take care!

art, history, landscape, photography, seasons, sport, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 3-29

mm29-dsc_5289-sc_wt

It’s time for Monochrome Madness. This week we have another themed Monochrome Madness. The theme is “travel”.

There are so many options to visualise travel:  think of i.e. luggage, people in a railway station, at a harbour or an airport, different travel vehicles or travel destinations and so on. I guess, you got the idea.

Despite I have many images from my different trips fitting for each of the above categories, I picked an image taken during one of my flights with a hot-air balloon. A fantastic experience gliding softly over the landscape.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers.

Take care!

culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge : Between

600_0674-e_wWhen I read the title for this weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post, I knew at once, which photo I’ll post.

Even there are ask many options to interpret that word and a few of them were already mentioned in the original post by Danielle.

Being between sky and earth passing the border between night and day. Although this happens twice every day it is a very special moment. I’d encourage you to feel it yourself, especially in the morning. Get up early and go out to the fields in the countryside. turn you head to the east and welcome the sun. Feel how the early sun can warm your face while the night still cools your back. Enjoy the silence and the awakening birds. Smell the aroma of a newborn day.

Have a nice day / week

and Take care!

 

art, culture, landscape, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

600_2386_wThis weeks assignment for photographers over at “The daily post” is quite challenging. It’s “Threshold” as you already might have seen from the subject.

I picked this photo taken last year at a ballooning festival. Here, here and here you can read more about the festival.

Threshold means, done with the preparation and going up to the next level. While some balloons are already in the air, the big red one is still in preparation on the ground.

I hope you like it. If so, you can go back to my previous post and have al look on them.

Take care!

art, culture, landscape, meeting, people, photography, technic, travel, world

Balloons at night

Yeah!

600_2516-s_wBalloons at night are very cool. I love it. I love the ambience.

This is my final post on this little series on the balloon festival at Kevelarer.

There was one additional  festival on my schedule, the WIM 2014! the Warstein International Montgolfiade. But, unfortunately it had to be canceled because of a dangerous, unclear Legionella epidemic in Warstein.

Best of luck for the ill.

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art, culture, meeting, people, technical, travel, world

setting up an hot air balloon

In my post on last Tuesday I proposed to write a post on how to set up a balloon. And, here it is.

A balloon consists of the basket, that’s the passengers compartment of the balloon, and the balloon itself. The basket is usually woven from willow branches. The balloon is made from a lightweight fabric. Both parts are transported with a special trailer.

First you get the basket and the sack containing the balloon from the trailer and attach the basket to the car to fix it and hinder it from flying away. Next you unpack the fabric, spread it on the ground and attach it to the basket.

In case you got the OK to prepare your start, fill the balloon with (cold) air by using a ventilator. At last you put hot air in the balloon by using the gas torch. Now a dangerous phase begins, because the helper have to hold the balloon open and have to avoid any contact of the balloon fabric and the flame. While the air inside the balloon heats up, the balloon begins to become lighter than the surrounding air and takes slowly up. The basket is lift by the balloon and the passengers can enter the basket to start their flight.

The hotter the air inside the balloon, the lighter it becomes. So, the temperature regulates the height and the wind sets speed and direction. Gone with the wind!

The sun heats the air over the ground. And that’s one reason for wind. But, wind makes ballooning dangerous.  So, hot air balloons usually start  in the early morning before the wind starts or in the late afternoon, when the wind already has stopped. A flight is about 60 to 90 minutes, because of the limited amount of gas on board.