Home' LOTL : February 2007 Contents Travel
During Carnival, the rules of society are
suspended and pagan traditions take over
Christendom. The Mayor gives away the keys
to the city. Citizens don masks and revel in
their sudden liberation. Everyone flirts with
everyone. Outrageous shimmering outfits are
all the rage. Drag queens throw beads off
balconies and politicians leap to catch them.
It’s carnivale time, and we’re SO there!
Rio’s revelry attracts 300,000 tourists to Brazil,
many drawn by gay events like the Banda de
Ipanema. On February 11th, 25th and 28th
drag queens from all over the world, plus a few
thousand of their closest friends, will gather
around 4pm at the Praça General Osório.
They’ll meet, greet, preen, and then march
down the street with a live samba orchestra.
Later on the 28th, the nationally-televised gay
costume ball takes place at Scala nightclub.
Other parties include X-Demente, B.I.T.C.H.
(“Barbies In Total Control Here”), gay balls at
Elite samba hall, and nightly events at Le Boy
disco. For more information, visit ipanema.
com and rio-carnival.net
Chilly climes don’t dampen the fun at Cologne,
Germany’s 600-year-old Karneval. Residents
don clown suits, medieval gowns, faux fur
capes, and goofy hats. Parades are the
backdrop to cop-kissing, hand-standing, beer-
guzzling, screaming mayhem. Women cut off
men’s ties. Presiding are the Prince, Peasant,
and Maiden, the latter always played by a
man. About 1,400 “maidens” and friends will
gather on February 17th at the Rosa Funken
gay ball. Thirty members of the Rosa Funken
Köln Society will don their hot pink Napoleon-
style uniforms, mount their pink hobby horses
and sing for the crowd. Visit rosa-funken.de,
stadt-koeln.de/en and colognecarnival.com
Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the
south, things are heating up in Sitges, a
gay-packed beach town near Barcelona. On
February 23rd festivities begin with the revival
of the dead Carnastoltes, or King. Sunday
and Tuesday bring parades, with dozens of
floats crawling through the narrow streets.
On Ash Wednesday, the Carnival King and
Queen stage a ritual battle with Lent, and
lose. A procession carries their “bodies” to
the beach accompanied by drag queens in
gigantic funereal head dresses. The weeping,
screaming and wailing is dramatic, even by
“royal” standards. For more information, visit
FOR JULIA STEINECKE,
EVENTS LIKE THE SYDNEY
GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI
GRAS ARE PART OF A TIME-
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