Eindhoven Boere Bloas Festijn

Photo credit: Studio040

Sunday saw a nice kick-off in the run-up to carnival. At Eindhoven’s City Pavilion, the atmosphere was excellent! Here, the traditional annual Boere Bloas Festijn took place.

Nineteen brass bands lined up, to perform carnival tunes and related music at the pavilion. The past three years, this kick-off to carnival took place at Dynamo. Now this event was back at its usual spot.

Bands which participated, included Pretband The Bloopers, Blusswerruk, De Bolblaozers, De Chica’s, Zoetwaterkapel De Makrele, Lampegatse Muziekmakerij De Schemerlamp, Blaasband Simpel Zat, Feestband Toeternietoe and Femmefare Vals Plat. Names which are a challenge to pronounce and difficult to translate. But then: it’s all about the bands’ music and a festive atmosphere.

This year, the theme referred to Lampegat carnival association d’Hoane’s motto. This runs “Le Coq Passif: Pyjama Party”.

Boere Blaozers, Dweilorkesten, Zatte Harmonies

So what exactly are Boere Blaozers, Dweil Orkesten, Zatte Harmonies? Such names refer to traditional Dutch carnival bands.

A “dweil orkest” is a small version of a Dutch brass band. Many towns used to have their own brass bands or “Harmonies”. However, not all instruments and members were part of the local carnival “dweil orkest“.

Trumpets, percussion, trombones are always part of such special carnival bands. The repertoire always includes carnival-music, which according to some resembles what in Germany are called “Schlager“. Though the bands may also play popular songs and world hits.

Dutch “dweil” usually translates into mop? A “dweil orkest” has nothing to do with mopping up. It has everything to do with a special Brabant meaning of “dweilen“. To wander along streets aimlessly, usually drunk.

In short: the kind of behaviour one comes across during carnival. A group of people wandering from one pub to the next, was often accompanied by part of the local brass band playing appropriate carnival music.

Such bands performing only during carnival and only special carnival music, had specific, funny nicknames: “Dweil Orkesten”. Moreover, playing carnival music while wandering from pub to pub makes “throats dry”. Not all band members remained sober, hence “zatte harmonie“, or band of drunks.

As for Boerenkapel or Boere Blaozers: members of such bands generally wear “traditional” farmers’ costumes. Occasionally, they also perform at football matches, marriages, and other special events.

Next time Dutch friends claim a “Dweil Orkest” has to do with mopping up, feel free to show off your superior knowledge of a special Dutch tradition.

Source: Studio 040

Translator: Kate

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