The Carnaval of the Netherlands

I guess everyone thinks about Brazil when it comes to Carnival. But after one goes to Holland – especially in the month of February (or March) when it takes place in Brazil, this concept might change. Many cities in Southern Holland celebrate Carnival and it is a very important holiday to celebrate! They take it very seriously!

Dutch Carnaval celebration on the main square of Maastricht

In some small towns such as ‘s-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch) there isn’t necessarily the costume show scattered throughout the streets, but the tricolors yellow, white and red reign in embellishments, ties, caps and so on. Each region has its own hymn, its own parade, their own customs that define the musicality of the four days of celebration. Slightly further down towards Maastricht, Friday’s Carnival welcomes tourists who arrive at the main station – also decorated with the colors of the celebration. Tourists arrive in ecstasy for four days of much fun.

Dutch family wears a Xmas theme costume to celebrate the local Carnaval

The sensation is of being in a Carnival as joyful and popular as that of Brazil, but with a higher level of civility: people walk the streets from bar to bar, holding glass cups, dancing and singing, son, father and grandfather, and this fellowship goes on until the end of the day (namely: with neither violence, obscenities or disrespect). By the end of the party, what you see the most are the remaining alcoholic-resistant partygoers. There’s a detail: there are no naked women. But you’ve got to agree, it is quite difficult to undress in such cold weather.


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