Festivities start in November itself. Everyone eagerly waits for Xmas, year end holidays and again another bout of vacation for skiing in January, and carnival in February.
Yeah, the carnival in February. It is celebrated by people of Germany in most cities. Cologne being biggest event. City of Mainz is no less. It starts on 20th Feb and ends on 26th Feb in 2020. Dates might vary year to year. It is a fervent, festive mood of German people out in public. Parades, floats, dance, drink, fun, family, friends on the show. People from near by small towns and villages join the nearby city groups.
I went all the way to Mainz on 22nd (Saturday) though I knew it would not be a biggest event but yet wanted to jostle around with the fun loving crowd. The biggest would be on 24th Monday and 26th Tuesday I believe. Well, I work on Monday to Friday , so no Monday carnival. I had to satisfy with Saturday carnival.
The story of carnival goes back to 13th or 14th century. Year on year with its ups and downs, the group of people continued to celebrate with zeal. People wear masks, funny looking dresses, bright colourful costumes, and come in procession on foot and floats as well. Colours every where. There are food and drink stalls all along the route.
The people who are in procession take their own band with their favourite tunes and follow the band. There hundreds other spectators are also in colourful costumes. The colours, fun, joy, band, songs, dance fill all across.
The procession reaches the culmination spot, where the leads of all the groups, join on a dais while others congregate in front.
I recall my memory of carnival in Goa, India. There as well goes a carnival at the same time. I am sure it has its roots in Portuguese some where.
I have posted the beautiful faces in a separate post here. You get a closer look.