For anyone who hasn't yet experienced Carnival in the Southeast Netherlands, brace yourself, because it is a site to see! Whether it is the guy dressed as a chicken who is walking through town, or the children dressed as their favorite character! What is universal is that they are all out having fun.
Beginning on Friday 8 February through Tuesday 12 February, be prepared to see people in costumes; people of every age from children to adults, senior citizens, and even their pets. It is a crazy time in this part of The Netherlands, and at times you might think you are in the party capital of the world. 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 center. All day and all night, bicyclists will make their way into the city center, completely dressed in Carnival attire of course!
Head to the city center and you will see crowded streets, and cafés filled with party goers. What are they celebrating? Traditionally, Carnival celebrates the days leading up to Ashe Wednesday. Since this part of the country is heavily Roman Catholic, the celebrations get bigger the further south you go! Head north and you might not see any celebrations. That's because it is largely Protestant. Yes, the parties are in the Southeast Netherlands!
If you're looking for a quiet, romantic dinner, stay home. If you're looking to mingle with the locals, in a big party that flows to the streets, head to the city centre!
Yes, Carnival is a special time in the Southeast Netherlands. It's a time to dress up in wacky clothing, and to party ‘til your heart's content. Or you can be like me and just watch from afar. It is quite amusing, and definitely worth writing home about! Keep your camera ready!
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