Celebrants at Mainz women’s carnival warm up chilly morning
By MICHAEL ABRAMS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 8, 2018
MAINZ, Germany — Sunny skies but near-freezing temperatures greeted the costumed revelers here Thursday morning for the Weiberfastnacht — or women’s carnival — celebrations.
A couple of thousand people braved the cold to enjoy the fun, which started at 11:11 a.m. at the foot of the Fastnacht fountain on Schillerplatz, a downtown square. Live bands and DJs got the celebrants singing and dancing, keeping them warm.
There were groups of clowns, frogs, ladybugs enjoying the fun, and just about any other crazy, colorful costumes could be seen among the merrymakers.
Weiberfastnacht is a day when the women are in charge of the festivities and can cut off men’s ties without fear of retribution. But men were also out in abundance, albeit without neckwear.
As in the past couple of years, there was heightened security, with the police out in force, a ban on bottles and participants forced to pass through security checkpoints to enter the square.
The day traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, which culminates in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf that attract more than 1 million spectators. Other popular parades are in Mainz-Kastel on Saturday, in Bitburg, Spangdahlem, Wiesbaden and Frankfurt on Sunday and in Stuttgart on Tuesday.