Mainz is home to a Carnival, the Mainzer Fassenacht or Fastnacht, which has developed since the early 19th century. Carnival in Mainz has its roots in the criticism of social and political injustices under the shelter of cap and bells. Today, the uniforms of many traditional Carnival clubs still imitate and caricature the uniforms of the French and Prussian troops of the past. The height of the carnival season is on Rosenmontag ("rose Monday"), when there is a large parade in Mainz, with more than 500,000 people celebrating in the streets.
The first ever Katholikentag, a festival-like gathering of German Catholics, was held in Mainz in 1848.
Forum of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Johannes Gutenberg, credited with the invention of the modern printing press with movable type, was born here and died here. Since 1968 the Mainzer Johannisnacht commemorates the person Johannes Gutenberg in his native city. The Mainz University, which was refounded in 1946, is named after Gutenberg; the earlier University of Mainz that dated back to 1477 had been closed down by Napoleon's troops in 1798.
Mainz was one of three important centers of Jewish theology and learning in Central Europe during the Middle Ages. Known collectively as Shum, the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz played a key role in the preservation and propagation of Talmudic scholarship.
The city is the seat of Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (literally, "Second German Television", ZDF), one of two federal nationwide TV broadcasters. There are also a couple of radio stations based in Mainz.