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The Berlin Love Parade

Each week, Gadling is taking a look at our favorite festivals around the world. From music festivals to cultural showcases to the just plain bizarre, we hope to inspire you to do some festival exploring of your own. Come back each Wednesday for our picks or find them all HERE.

The Berlin Love Parade has been described as the Mardi Gras of Germany. It is a festival that started in 1989, four months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The first year's theme, "Peace, Joy and Pancakes" echoed a time of intense change and excitement, with hope for a bright future.

Though many have looked at the Love Parade in recent years as a massive rave party with scantily-clad dancers lining the streets, it was really started as more than that - a political movement to bring a sense of unity to a divided country that was about to rise up again in the western world.

As 150 people gathered in Wittenbergplatz, the parade began in West Berlin and became a celebration of cross-cultural unity, while maintaining individual identity. Twenty-one years later, it is a mega-event that brings nearly 2 million participants. The individual identities they sought to preserve remain strong as visitors walk down the streets of the Kurfuerstendamm and hear musical genres from every walk of life, each one louder and more exciting than the one before.

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