Something you see more down in the south of Germany: Scary costumes and noise chase away winter demons in ancient times. They call Karneval Fasching. This Germanic word dates from the 13th century and the Middle High German word vascganc or vastschnag (Fastenschank, “last [alcoholic] drink before fasting”). The word later joined other German words ending in -ing to become Fasching.
Oktoberfest in Germany! Sadly, I had bronchitis when everyone went to Oktoberfest in Munich, but I did make it to Oktoberfest in Konstanz and it was a lot of fun. I would recommend going, even if you aren't a beer fan. There's live music and dancing and lots of fun people to chat with.