Middlebury Newsletter School in Germany

Mainz and Berlin

by Heike Fahrenberg
Comments Off on Fassenacht in Meenz III: Rosemonday

Fassenacht in Meenz III: Rosemonday

Dear reader,

as in every year, we watched the Rosemonday Parade from Rheinstraße’s windows.





Since it was a cold day, we took turns at the window and kept warm with coffee, tea, potato salad, hot sausages, Kreppel, Bretzel and Sweets.




Running from 11.11 a.m. to about 4.30 p.m., the parade boasted countless participants, and a large number of floats commenting on local and world politics. Whoever was around when Obama was elected the first time, surely remembered that the float of that year showed a tiny Obama picking up a huge Statue of Liberty. Now, with his second term ending soon, the Mainzers seem less optimistic……. ;o)




Yes, you should have been here. For those interested in more pictures, we’ll be establishing a gallery soon.

All the best from Mainz, the city that only puts the costumes away on Ashwednesday – not its sense of humor!

Helau to all –







by Heike Fahrenberg
Comments Off on Fassenacht in Meenz II — The Guards’ Parade

Fassenacht in Meenz II — The Guards’ Parade

Dear Readers –

as promised, here are impressions from Sunday’s Parade of the Guards! On Sunday morning, clear blue skies and sunshine greeting all small and large Fassenachters ….





gathering to watch the Fassenachts-Guards who came through, some on big horses……




some on small……………….




some on foot …….





some playing music…..




and all determined to make this day fun, to show their colors and to chase everybody lacking a sense of humor out of the city’s boundaries. As on the previous day, it was very obvious that Fassenacht unites the old and the young, the born Mainzers and the grown Mainzers as everybody joins each other for a dreifach donnerndes Mainz, Helau! Helau! Helau!


by Heike Fahrenberg
Comments Off on Fassenacht in Meenz….. The Children’s Parade

Fassenacht in Meenz….. The Children’s Parade

Dear Readers –

On Saturday, Europe’s largest Children Parade filled the city with colors, laughter and Helaus. Animals was the motto, so let’s start with the ‘Domsgickel’ – the golden rooster on top of the Cathedral:




As you can see below, there is only one condition under which a kid can participate: s/he needs to be big enough to fit a costume — and that’s true for participants as much as for the audience:







Every kindergarden and school within the Mainz-vicinity was represented — while the Mainz Fassenachts-Guards provided music and protection against bean-counters and the Schwellköpp (Big Heads) came in last, nodding approvingly from their heightened point of view:










To make no mistake: both the Schwellköpp and the Guards are Fassenacht’s ridiculing take on figures of authority — the military, or anybody who thinks him/herself too important, like our prussian-looking friend with the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Bart above, are made fun of — that’s the spirit of Fassenacht. By the way: each ‘Schwellkopp’ weighs close to 30 kg — so carrying one is real work!

Helau for now – and an account of the March of the Guards and, last but not least, the Rosemonday Parade and Celebration at Rheinstraße are under construction! :o)

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