Saturday, February 11, 2012

Get ready for Carnaval!

Next week it will begin… The biggest party in the south of the Netherlands.  CARNAVAL! No explanation is needed for the citizens of North Brabant and Limburg, but here we'll give a short description for our foreign visitors:

Carnaval started as a catholic party, where you had to eat as much as you could before the Lent began. The name carnaval has its origins from the Latin expression carna vale, which means ‘farewell to meat’.
Well… not much has been left from this original catholic party. Nowadays carnaval is well known as the party where you have to
drink and party as much as you can. Everybody will wear a costume as well. Officially, Carnaval begins on a Sunday (this year February 19th) and takes place for three days. But almost everyone will start already on Friday (February 17th).   

Traditions during Carnaval vary from town to town. One tradition is that every city and village change their name during Carnaval. So for example Den Bosch is known as ‘Oeteldonk’ (which means Frog hill) during this period. Eindhoven is called ‘Lampengat’ (this refers to lamps from Philips).

What do you have to do with carnaval?

1) Get a costume
In North Brabant and Limburg , there are many stores especially for carnaval clothes. However, these clothes are sometimes really expensive. You could also be creative yourself. Take a look at your old clothes and costumes and create something with it. For example, when you have an old leather jacket you can go as a rockstar. If you have some glitter stuff, you can go as diva. Or maybe your parents have some old clothes and you can go as a hippie. Also big clothes companies like h&m or coolcat have sales around February with clothes no one would ever wear, except with carnaval. These are often really cheap and most importantly, when you create something by yourself you will have a very original costume.

2) Learn the songs and dances of the carnaval hits
Also very important is the traditional carnaval music. Okay, it’s not the best music in the world and the lyrics don’t often make sense at all (lyrics like: ‘I want sex with the bold one’ and ‘there is a horse in the hall….’ ), but the music makes the party complete. Here are some carnaval hits which you will certainly hear in Eindhoven.
3) Go to the carnaval parade in Eindhoven
This takes place on Saturday February 18th.  A lot of carnaval associations created beautiful cars, acts and music and will show these during the parade. The parade will start in ‘Fuutlaan’ at 13:11 and goes via ‘Parklaan’ and ‘Dommelstraat’ to the ‘Stationsplein’.

4) Go to Mad Monday in Eindhoven city centreThere will be a football match between PSV and EVV, a Mother-Mad-Monday-Beauty-contest and performers like De Gebroeders Ko and Bonnie St. Clair.

5) Visit one day a different town.Every town has its own traditions during Carnaval. Eindhoven differs a lot from example Den Bosch or Maastricht. Also little towns around Eindhoven (for example: Geldrop, Neunen, Valkenswaard, Veldhoven) differ from Eindhoven. So you should try another town for one night. 

Or almost every night…

7) Eating herring on Wednesday
If you’re still able to get out of your bed after five nights of partying, you should go to the tradidional ‘haringhappen’ (eating herring) on the Wednesday after Carnaval.


1 comment:

  1. Oeh! We like this blog!
    We gave you some comments in our third journal! You can take a look at it later ;)