Carnival 2012 – Let’s celebrate!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Carnival is about to begin, and for anyone who hasn’t experienced Carnival in the Southeast Netherlands, brace yourself! Even if you have lived here for some years, you will be amazed every time. Whether it is the guy dressed as a chicken walking through town, or the children dressed as their favorite character – the universal fact is that they are all out having fun!

How to join in the fun? Easy! Go and grab something from your closet, or head to the local store for a costume – it is all available. And if you are not wearing something crazy, you will surely stand out from the crowd!Carnival begins on Friday, 17 February and ends on Tuesday, 21 February. Be prepared to see people in costumes; people of every age. This will be a crazy time in this part of the Netherlands, and at times, you might even think that you are in the party capital of the world. And there’s good reason to think so: Just look around at the bus stops and you’ll see people dressed from head-to-toe in this year’s costume, ready to party in the city centre. All day and all night, bicyclists will make their way into the city center, dressed up in Carnival attire of course! Head on to the city center yourself and see for yourself the crowded streets and pubs filled with party-goers. What are they celebrating? Traditionally, Carnival celebrates the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. Since this part of the country is largely Roman Catholic, the celebrations get bigger the further south you go! Travel up north and you might not see any celebrations. This is because there are more Protestants upstream. Therefore, the parties are in the Southeast of the Netherlands!All towns get different names (in dialect) for four days and have a different chief; the mayor is replaced by the Prince and his followers.If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic dinner – it may be a better idea to stay home. But if you’re looking to mingle with the locals, drink a beer with them amidst a large colourful public celebration both inside pubs and on the streets, get dressed in wacky clothing and party to your heart’s content!Carnival is certainly a special time in the Southeast Netherlands; it is quite amusing, and definitely worth writing home about. Keep your camera within reach!Source: Expat Center Brabant


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