Middlebury Newsletter School in Germany

Mainz and Berlin

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)

Author: Heike Fahrenberg

Associate Professor and Director, Middlebury School in Germany

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