As weird as it sounds, Bremen's popular carnival has become the largest samba festival in Europe. OK, so the competition isn’t exactly enormous, but you can expect about 10,000 people to take to the streets every year in January or February for annual merrymaking that all began when the first Bremer Samba Group swung into action in 1986.
As the organisers put it, the festival celebrates ‘the road from the dark, cold time to brightness and warmth’, when ‘the foreign, the bizarre, the grotesque and the exotic invade the streets’. Each year the carnival takes a different theme. To get into the swing of things, follow the parade from Markt along Ostertorsteinweg and into Das Viertel. Open-air stages are set up, mostly on Ostertorsteinweg. Dress up warmly, weirdly and inappropriately, and get down to the beat!