WIESBADEN, Germany – February is normally the time when Germans celebrate “Fasching” season. However, the COVID pandemic continues to halt all events, yet another year.
Every February, Fasching season gets into full swing with big parades on the streets and fairs to celebrate the beginning of the Lenten season.
Köln, Düsseldorf and Mainz are Germany’s Fasching capitals. However, this year’s local festivities were abruptly halted again by a press release from the city of Mainz, in which Lord Mayor Michael Ebling announced that the Rose Monday parade in Mainz – which was originally scheduled for Feb. 28th, 2022 – was canceled again due to COVID. “The cancellation of the Rose Monday parade is very painful, we deeply regret this,” said Ebling in the press release.
However, the Lord Mayor is counting on the creativity of the Fasching clubs, which, he hopes, will come up with creative alternatives to celebrate Fasching in a “corona-conform” way.
Traditionally, the history of Fasching or Carnival, originated around 5,000 years ago when people celebrated exuberantly, which is still the spirit of Fasching nowadays. Even in medieval times, Rome had festivals marked by role plays in which monastery students slipped into the part of a bishop or an abbot.
It is believed that the carnival customs came to Germany in the 11th century. Some say that the people of Cologne publicly celebrated Carnival for the first time around the year 1341. In the Middle Ages, the Lenten season had even stricter rules than today. Meat and animal products were forbidden during the 40 days of Lent. Therefore, the festivities were used for big feasts and celebrations. Any food items that could possible spoil during the following 40 days had to be consumed beforehand.
Nowadays, Fasching season officially starts on Nov. 11 at exactly 11:11 a.m. However, the big parties and parades are held in February and last for a whole week.
The high point of the festivities is “Rosenmontag,” or Rose Monday. The Rosenmontag parade in Mainz is one of the biggest in the country and features almost 10,000 participants from Mainz and other European cities. The first time this parade was held was in 1838. The parade runs about 7.2 kilometers through the downtown area.
Fasching is about being happy and getting ready for Lenten season, which starts on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Eve n in times of COVID, being happy is important and therefore, the main Fasching clubs of Mainz announced on their social media platforms that there will be a small event on Rose Monday, a public exhibition of artwork and many social media events for young and old.