Rome conquered Germany as far as the Elbe River , ( in the Rhineland area). The Romans took their beloved festival that they called Carnevale, wherever they went. It was accepted heartily, and to this day is still celebrated in the Catholic areas of Germany. This makes a lot of sense, because the people of the cities were ruled with an iron fist, and were couped up all winter, and needed a good release. No one understood this more than the ruling class.
So they had parades and costumes. They towns folk elected their own king and queen, and the rulers for this festival waited on the peasants! They object of the costumes was to mock the leaders and Church officials and embarrass them as much as possible. In the big halls people sit at long tables, eat and drink, sing and listen to clowns or jokers who again ridicule the whole establishment. The jokers are called “Buettenredner”. The name derives from the fact that the joker often stands in a fat, (Buett) which was used to wash the dirty laundry in. This is their aim, to wash the “dirty laundry” of the community out in the open for everyone to see, hear and laugh about. In between there is plenty of music and dancing and schunkeln, (linking arms, moving from site to site and with the rhythm of the music).
Rosenmontag Parade Last Year in Dusseldorf
Beautiful spirit filled video of this event that starts with pre- parade preparation. Advance it 15 minutes to see parade.