Carnival: New Year's Parade of the Guards

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Fastnacht: Neujahrsumzug der Garden/ Carnival: New Year's Parade of the Guards
Jan. 1, Mainz

Mainz's legendary carnival celebrations get underway in earnest each year on January 1, when a parade made up of the spiffy uniform-wearing carnival guards makes its way through the streets of the handsome and historical city by the Rhine. In keeping with the carnival tradition of using the number 11 whenever possible, the parade gets underway from the Ernst-Ludwig-Platz at 11:11 a.m. A concert in the cathedral square immediately follows. Entry to both parade and concert is free, but the purchase of this year's "Zugplakette," a guardsman in uniform which will be sold in the streets for about 5 euros, helps support the organization of the carnival and makes for a cute souvenir of the day.  

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