Today we went to the Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) parade in Mainz - one of the biggest pre Lenten festivities in the country. We heard 500,000 visitors were expected in the city today, and 400,000 had pretty outrageous costumes on. Everyone was in good spirits, though, public transportation was running smoothly, and we had a great time. We didn't stay for the whole parade - if you stand in one place it takes about 5 hours, and we were done after 3!
Some of the floats were really fun. This one was called "Frauen-Power" or Women Power. It has a woman coming out of a TV holding the TWO world championship trophies the German women's soccer team has won, while the man stays home taking care of the children and the house. There were a number of anti-doping/Tour de France parade entries. This one I found funniest.
We missed the one with Barack Obama as a dog latched onto Hillary Clinton's behind. Do you think Americans would get German political humor in a parade float?
And, of course, the stuff thrown from floats. Today we caught (I am not making this up) a pretzel (not the little airline kind, I mean a big, baked German pretzel), a crusty roll, and a sausage (see below - no, we didn't eat the sausage!). If someone had just thrown little bottles of beer, it would have been complete.
In addition, the Mainz parade gets my vote over Wiesbaden's because some of the people on the floats threw actual chocolate, not just hard candy that hurts when it bounces off your head. We also got balls, a zipper pouch, more dishrags (what's up with that?), a bunch of little packets of Kleenex (handy on a rainy, upper 30s kind of day), popcorn, fortune cookies, and lots of gummi bears.