Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Karneval, Fasching, Fastnacht...this is party time in this region of Germany. (We in the Saarland even got a week and a half off of school!)

The most famous celebrations are in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz. Fasching is called the fünfte Jahreszeit in this region, the "fifth-season", because it is so important.

Carnival week started on Thursday, which is called Altweiberfastnacht, with the tradition of women cutting off mens' ties at work! Then there are balls and parades all leading up to the biggest party--the street festival on Rosenmontag. It ends with Ash Wednesday, so it's like the last hurrah before people used to fast during Lent. Accordingly, this holiday is not celebrated in the North of Germany, which is predominantly Protestant.
I went to Frankfurt on Sunday and then down to Mainz Monday morning. The train was filling up with crazies the closer to Mainz we got! My friend Molly and I dressed up like clown cooks...
We got good spots for the parade, conveniently close to a Wurst stand, a Bretzel stand, and a Glühwein stand. :) As the various floats rode by they yelled Helau! and the crowd answered Helau! back at them. (It sounds much like the English "hello"!) They also threw candy into the crowds.

These are all different floats that allude to various current events:

This one refers to the new smoking ban:
"Wir müssen draussen bleiben!" We have to stay outside! :)

This one, you can maybe see, is a blood-doping cyclist!

This float is called "Fat Children" and refers to the fact that even Germany has a growing problem with fries-eating, computer game-playing children...

German female athletes are bringing in more trophies than then men...
This model of the German Reichstag (parliament building) says: Above every circus is a cupola.

A Commentary on Global Warming
More random fun pictures!
Molly, me, Ben, Brittany

below: gross, the aftermath

Me with one of my roommates, Matthias

After the parade there were street dances

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures! I wish there were a party like that in VA. Like a German Mardi Gras.