carnival - the festivities usual during the period before Lent in Roman Catholic countries; merrymaking; revelry
And so it went here in Switzerland with the annual February Carnival. There were activites every day that drew hordes of people into the streets. Many many dressed in costume while parading up and down passing vendors selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and Swiss specialties. There were activites for old and young with everyone mingling and huddling together to watch parades and sporting events. The temps were a bit chilly so many merymakers had an ample supply of 'liquid heat' inside of them before venturing out to brave the cold. The finale included bell ringers and others in costume who shed fake tears that Carnival was ending. Then there was a huge bonfire which burned an edifice of Father Carnival. While the flames and sparks shot higher and higher and the ediface was reducing to ashes, the greivers shed more and more tears and the bell ringers played ever more loudly. It was a spectacular sight.
One of the many traditions during Carnival is for these costumed
fellows to throw small loaves of bread out into the crowds. There
were so many people that I felt like a squashed sardine in a tin, but I survived and even managed to catch a loaf of bread. Between the four of us that went together, we managed to get 5 loaves of bread which we will enjoy eating later. It is the most scrumptious bread I've ever eaten. The bread made for this event is special and not baked at any other time of year. Therefore, those that leave bread-less are very sad about it. But, there will be another Carnival next year to look forward to.