The inhabitants of the West German city of Mainz have a special affection for the first Monday in March.
The inhabitants of the West German city of Mainz have a special affection for the first Monday in March. To them it is a Lanten festival known as "Rose Monday" - the occasion for fun and games in the city streets, plenty of liquid refreshment and a carnival parade.
This year over 200 floats and dozens of bands took part. The theme was "a social commentary on our times", and, giving full licence to their creative skills, float builders produced some ingenious works of art. There was a huge caricature model of West German Chancellor Schmidt for example, and another invention depicted two outsize men engaged in a finger wrestling contest.
On the whole everybody acted in the time honoured tradition of carnival time. Spectators and participants alike dressed in their most exotic clothes, and singing, dancing and drinking brought welcome relaxation from the more sober aspects of day to day existence.