Celebrating Shrovetide – this year only works at home. The fools in the Rhineland stronghold of Mainz have come up with something to keep their arms around each other at a distance.
The shop with the costumes for Rose Monday in Mainz is closed. In the shop window, a mannequin disguised as a clown looks sadly at the few passers-by who are hurrying through the rainy pedestrian zone in dark clothes. On the market square or on Neubrunnenplatz, the four-colored flags of carnival clubs hang listlessly on their poles. “The city is empty, it is dreary,” says Markus Perabo, formerly the procession marshal for the Rose Monday procession and now the board spokesman of the Mainz Carnival Association.
But on the four great days from Friday to Monday, Shrovetide should be celebrated despite all that. Goodbye sadness! “You can’t cancel Carnival,” said Mayor Michael Ebling (SPD) in September. At that time there was still the hope of meetings and street carnival under strict hygiene conditions. It is now clear that the statement made by the mayor of Mainz only applies to the calendar entry.
Ship of fools should continue sailing despite Corona
“Despite Corona sails serenely, the ship of fools full of hope!” That is the motto of this difficult campaign in Mainz. At the start of the New Year’s Day, a small group of the Ranzengarde wanted to bring the motto to life and create a bit of atmosphere by far. The action met with so much criticism that several guards have since canceled the street appearances in uniform that were initially planned in the form of a spontaneous “flash mob”.
As in other areas of life, the internet remains the last resort. “We will make the best of it,” says the President of the Mainz Carneval Association, Reinhard Urban. The fate of the traditional motif wagons for the Rose Monday procession is particularly bitter for the club and car maker Dieter Wenger.
Birthday parties, weddings, fitness classes, school classes, conferences – everything is taking place online in the pandemic. So also part of Carnival 2021.
See motif car on the Internet
It has long been clear that the three-dimensional caricatures of current affairs will not be able to roll through the city this time. But now the planned installation in central squares has also been abandoned – out of concern that too many people might gather there. Now the wagons enlarged into monuments will soon be presented on the Internet: two motif monuments with themes not yet known, the committee wagon enlarged into a ship of fools and a redesign of the wagon for the historic imperial exhibition in Mainz.
In addition to the carnival broadcasts of the SWR – including the newly designed meeting “Mainz remains Mainz” next Friday – there are also online meetings of the clubs on the foolish days. Some take over the vintners’ Corona innovation and combine the streaming of hand-made speeches and singing with an online wine tasting. The Karneval-Club Kastel (KCK) in the suburb on the right bank of the Rhine and, unfortunately, part of Wiesbaden, has selected wines from both banks of the Rhine for Saturday evening, from Rheinhessen and the Rheingau.
Carnival is canceled this year due to Corona? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! There is a lot of foolish laughing about on television, radio and the internet. We give an overview of dates for Rhineland-Palatinate.
Change to the net for fools “absolutely new territory”
“The switch to the exclusively digital level is completely new territory,” says Markus Perabo from the Carnival Association, to which 26 clubs have joined forces. For active handicraft speakers it is “a big problem that they have no spectators at such a clean event”. Conversely, other target groups could also be reached online. The carnival cooperative goes online on Shrove Monday with around 20 contributions from well-known and lesser-known carnivores.
“There is a great longing for joy and diversion,” says Mayor Ebling, who otherwise goes to the Bütt himself and appears as “chief of protocol” at the Mombacher “Bohnebeitel”. But it can also be left out in a quiet little room.
Hope for normality in the next year
And then the people of Mainz are already optimistic about the next year with the foolish year 2022. “I hope that we will have the pandemic more under control then,” says MCV President Urban. “Then we can hopefully celebrate Carnival together again and don’t have to be so far away.” Andreas Blum from the Mainzer Ranzengarde is certain: “The world will look different again next year!”