Mainz Carnival Costumes

On Rosenmontag in Mainz the place is packed with locals and visitors, all in costume for the last big celebrations before Ash Wednesday when Lent imposes its more severe restrictions of frivolity.

The Mainz Fastnacht or carnival is one where costumes of the parade itself are colourful….

Mainz Fastnacht Jester Carnival Costume

…sometimes scary in a friendly sort of way…

Mainz Fastnacht pink bear carnival costume

…and sometimes very two-faced.

Mainz Fastnacht two faces

There were colourful elves who brought their mushrooms with them.

Mainz Fastnacht elf and mushroom costumes

Some of the seemingly fierce faces are actually very friendly…

Mainz Fastnacht friendly jester costumes

…and some are just cool.

Mainz Fastnacht Guggenmusik makeup

…but mostly there is a sense of pure enjoyment – often translated into spontaneous dancing to the band music.

As it has been said:

There are shortcuts to happiness,

and dancing is one of them.

Mainz Fastnacht costumed dancers

Whether you are oriental…

Mainz Fastnacht oriental costumes

…a chilled baton twirler…

Mainz Fastnacht cold baton twirler

…an Aztec band member…

Mainz Fastnacht Aztec costumes

…a wizard…

Mainz Fastnacht wizard costumes

…a pretty witch…

Mainz Fastnacht pretty witch

..a girl in folk costume…

Mainz Fastnacht folk costumes

…a well-turned out set of carriage horses…

Mainz Fastnacht carriage horses

… or a horse of a different colour…

Mainz Fastnacht horses with pink earpieces

…or even one of Ali Baba’s thieves – this is the biggest day of celebration of Mainz’s 5th season, Fastnacht.

Mainz Fastnacht Ali Baba costumes

Rosenmontag is when colour reigns, be it resplendent in your costume…

Mainz Fastnacht Guggemusik red costumes

…kept under your hat…

Mainz Fastnacht silver hats

…enhanced by velvet and lace…

Mainz Fastnacht velvet and lace costumes

...or marked with devilish delight.

Mainz Fastnacht devilish band

Parade watchers, whether carrying their undergrowth with them…

Mainz Fastnacht undergrowth costume

… just blossoms blooming beside the route…

Mainz Fastnacht wayside blooms

…watching from the balcony in bumble bee costume…

Mainz Fastnacht bumble bees

… or in your coat of many colours from the pavement beside the route…

Mainz Fastnacht coat of many colours

…or like this little person, finding more interesting things to distract from the parade…

Mainz Fastnacht fiery costumes

…all form the crazy kaleidoscope that is Mainz on Rosenmontag at the height of carnival season.

Some people are not overdressed- like these cavemen who walk the route every year, bared to the elements no matter what the weather on Rosenmontag.

Mainz Fastnacht caveman with horns

As the last colourful band passes…

Mainz Fastnacht clown band retreating

…and the kangaroo family heads for home…

Mainz Fastnacht kangaroo family

…locals head to their favourite bar.

As I danced Rosenmontag into Shrove Tuesday I couldn’t help but think of the saying:

Life may not be the party

we hoped for,

but while we're here,

shall we dance?

We did, until we could dance no more – and Rosenmontag was no more than a reflection of our happy memories of a day spent with friends, old and new, celebrating the 5th season of the Mainz year.

Mainz Fastnacht reflected

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