Carnival in the Netherlands | Undutchables

Carnival in the Netherlands

Categorie: Cultural

It is that time of year again. The time of year when businesses and shops close, roads are closed off and when it is perfectly acceptable socially for grown men to get into the train dressed in bear and rabbit costumes.

The Dutch have a saying: ‘Doe maar normaal, dan ben je al gek genoeg,’ meaning be normal as you are crazy enough. However, this saying does not count during carnival season. Get ready for a lot of crazy!

Carnival is traditionally a pagan festival linked to the Catholic Church and it is to mark the start of lent for Catholics. To celebrate the festival in the Netherlands one really should go more to the Southern part of the Netherlands as the more South you go the more Catholic it is. The celebrations often involve a procession through the city and people dressed up in their silliest costumes. During carnival there is a (fake) mayor elected for the town and he or she is often part of the procession through the city. Towns often get a different name during carnival. For example, Eindhoven is known as Lampegat during this period, which can be quite confusing for people who are not aware of this transformation.

The Carnival weekend is really about everyone getting together and having fun. The music and different (alcoholic) beverages add to the festive mood and it is really one of the highlights of the year for people living in the South of the Netherlands. Our Undutchables colleagues in Eindhoven look forward to the Carnival parties all year long. Even though the office remains open during this period our colleagues in the South do everything they can to be a part of as many parties as possible!

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