It’s carnival time in Germany! I just watched the carnival session of Mainz on TV, the legendary “Mainz bleibt Mainz” (or, “Meenz bleibt Meenz”). Mainz is one of the strongholds of the political carnival (Fassenacht) in the Rhineland and presenters at those carnival sessions usually don’t hold back when they comment on things that happened in Germany in the past year (this year popular topics included the general election in 05, the new government, especially our new female chancellor, Bush’s visit to Mainz, and, of course, the neverending local rivalery between Mainz and Wiesbaden, separated by the Rhine, and the fact that thanks to the postWWII-administration parts of Mainz went to Wiesbaden, which is still a sore point with the people of Mainz).

Among the regular presenters are Der Bote vom Bundestag (The Messenger from the Bundestag) and Johannes Gutenberg. And each year “Mainz bleibt Mainz” ends with the Mainzer Hofs√§nger, a male choir.