10 interesting facts about the Cologne Carnival

1. The Carnival is the highlight of Cologne’s social calendar, with the season officially beginning on 11/11 at 11.11 am. It then goes into silent mode until the new year, when the celebrations begin in full swing and go on till Ash Wednesday in February. Carnival week is usually one of the coldest spells in…

Kids in the Cologne Carnival

Kamelle! The cry rents the cold, crisp Cologne air. A few thousand kids are out in cute costumes, all bundled up against the cold, eager participants in the general colour and chaos. The official Carnival begins on Thursday with the Women’s Day, but Carnival Sunday is when families come out in full force. The streets…

No rhyme or reason

I had not been in Limerick for an hour before someone mentioned Angela’s Ashes. The most famous book to come out of this city is the depressing story of a poor, dank, Catholic Limerick from the 1940s. And I had gone there, fully expecting to feel as dejected as I did when I first read…

India’s Culture Calendar for 2014

Here is a list of unmissable festivals through the year in India, dedicated to arts and culture, local colour and just pure fun. Roll up your sleeves and join in the celebrations. 1. Jaipur Literature Festival Where: Jaipur, Rajasthan When: Friday to January 21 This month, all roads lead to Jaipur. Held at the Diggi…

The great Indian Regatta

There is a buzz in the air. At 11 in the morning, the dozens of houseboats lined up on the edge of the water are all packed, people already sitting on rooftops for that vantage view. Police patrol boats have been going up and down the lake for the last hour, with the cops making…

Iftar fasting and feasting

As the sun sets on Mumbai and the muezzin’s call for the evening prayer rings out, signifying the end of the day’s fast, the party begins at Mohammed Ali Road. During the Ramadan, for both residents and visitors, all roads lead to this part of South Mumbai. Quiet throughout year, the entire length of the…

Snapshots from the Biennale

I went, I saw, I came back confused. It’s contemporary art – and I don’t really get most of it. So sue me. Update: In Tehelka, the reasons why the biennale didn’t work for me – Controversy Calling. In the meanwhile, decide for yourself. Some snapshots from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. At the lovely Kashi Art…