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Participants celebrate Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.   The event, on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf.
Participants celebrate Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The event, on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Participants celebrate Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.   The event, on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf.
Participants celebrate Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The event, on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Despite a steady drizzle and cold wind, participants had a good time celebrating Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The event traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf.
Despite a steady drizzle and cold wind, participants had a good time celebrating Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The event traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season, culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Duesseldorf. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
These marvelously costumed celebrants enjoy the fun before a steady drizzle began to fall on Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
These marvelously costumed celebrants enjoy the fun before a steady drizzle began to fall on Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Live and canned music kept the revelers singing and swaying at Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. A steady drizzle didn't spoil the fun.
Live and canned music kept the revelers singing and swaying at Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. A steady drizzle didn't spoil the fun. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Not only women celebrate Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany. There were also plenty of men, like this colorful old salt, having fun,Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
Not only women celebrate Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany. There were also plenty of men, like this colorful old salt, having fun,Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A couple of leprechauns were enjoying the fun at Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
A couple of leprechauns were enjoying the fun at Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Supposedly cats don't like getting wet, but a steady drizzle didn't keep this one from having fun at Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
Supposedly cats don't like getting wet, but a steady drizzle didn't keep this one from having fun at Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Despite a steady drizzle and cold wind, participants had a good time celebrating Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
Despite a steady drizzle and cold wind, participants had a good time celebrating Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A little schnapps helped keep the celebrants warm during Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
A little schnapps helped keep the celebrants warm during Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Not only women were celebrating Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. There were also plenty of men enjoying the festivities.
Not only women were celebrating Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. There were also plenty of men enjoying the festivities. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
One colorful clown wasn't going to let rain and wind spoil her  Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
One colorful clown wasn't going to let rain and wind spoil her Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A group of pink ladies dance to the music during  Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The thousands of partygoers who turned out for the event didn't let a chill wind and steady drizzle spoil their fun.
A group of pink ladies dance to the music during Altweiberfastnacht, or old women's carnival, on Schillerplatz in downtown Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The thousands of partygoers who turned out for the event didn't let a chill wind and steady drizzle spoil their fun. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

MAINZ, Germany – A steady drizzle and cold wind Thursday could not keep the women from celebrating Altweiberfastnacht – or old women’s carnival.

A couple of thousand people braved the weather to enjoy the fun on Schillerplatz, a downtown square. Music, live and canned, got the celebrants dancing and singing, keeping them warm, if not particularly dry.

Reports of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve and the continued threat of terrorism had cast a shadow over this year’s carnival celebrations, but police were out in force Thursday, and a ban on bottles forced participants to pass thorough security checkpoints making the revelry safer.

Weiberfastnacht, as it is also called, is a day when the women are in charge and can cut off men’s ties without fear of retribution. Despite this, men were also out in abundance, albeit without neckwear.

The day traditionally kicks off the final six days of the German carnival season; culminating in the giant Rose Monday parades in Mainz, Cologne and Düsseldorf that attract more than 1 million spectators.

abrams.mike@stripes.com

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