Celebrating Dutch Carnival Through Instagram Photos

[:en]Last week, I celebrated the Dutch Carnival in the city of Venlo. Experience this special historical celebration yourself, through my Instagram photos.

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, Carnival is called ‘Carnaval‘ or ‘Vastelaovend‘ (in the Limburg province) and it is mostly celebrated in the southern provinces of North Brabant and Limburg (the Catholic regions).

Officially, this festival is celebrated from Sunday to Tuesday, but in the city of Venlo (Limburg), where you can find one of the biggest and most traditional celebrations, everyone can be found dressed up and ready to go from Friday on.

Being from Amsterdam, we never celebrated the Carnival as a kid. But with a boyfriend from Venlo, I got thrown into the festivities since I first arrived there in 2008, making up for good times missed.

The last 2 years we lived abroad, so we had to miss out on this yearly tradition, but this year we were able to join in again. For me, it’s great fun to hear a different dialect (conversations and songs) all day and learning more and more about this amazing tradition.

 

Celebrating Carnival in the Netherlands

The Carnival in Venlo is totally different to other Carnival celebrations in Holland, as they have their own dialect, original songs (no apres ski music!) and special traditions.

The ‘Vastelaovend’ in Venlo includes a ‘prince’ plus cortege (the ‘Council of 11’, eleven being the number of craziness), multiple stages with performing artists (Saturday), performances of local drum bands (Sunday), a parade (Monday) and the last day a traditional farmers wedding (Tuesday).

Let me show you what’s going on in Venlo:

(click on images for bigger version) 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands
World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

 

What To Wear During Dutch Carnival?

Dressing up is a serious business in Venlo. You really stand out if you aren’t wearing a wig, hat, mask or a complete outfit. Some pubs won’t even let you in if you don’t participate.

A lot of people make their own outfits, and they get so creative!

I’ve seen a group of friends dressed as giraffes, a guy carrying a bin with Oscar the Grouch (fully moving mouth and eyes and all!), the Thunderbirds (above), girls with amazing flower-covered dresses and for my boyfriend we made a complete Ostrich-costume a couple years ago.

This year we didn’t have a lot of time, as we’ve only just arrived back in Holland from Sydney, so  I went for a store bought pirate, nurse and Japanese costume. Yes, every day a different costume is pretty standard.

In the picture bottom left, you can see one of the drum bands (called ‘Joekskepel‘) performing. These bands always create their own costumes, including matching outfits for partners and children. They participate in the parade as well and every year there are winners in different categories, selected by a jury. As the band above has an old fire truck to move around (see image below from 2010), they dressed as flames.

 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

The parade goes right through the heart of historical Venlo

 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

Of course the Carnival also comes with lots of beer and deep-fried crap (such as ‘kroketten‘ and ‘frikandellen‘), one of our countries ‘specialty’ dishes. But being with your friends, have long chats and a great time is the most important thing!

 

Special Carnival Traditions in Venlo

On Tuesdays, there is a farmers wedding (‘Boerenbroelof‘) at Venlo’s city Hall.

Everybody dresses up in black and white, and walking through the old streets really gives you the feeling of going back in time.

It’s one of my most favourite days during the Dutch Carnival. On the photo with the horse, you can see the bridal party.

 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

Town Hall of Venlo City

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

Yes, some people do wear wooden shoes and grandma’s with fur coats carry bottles of strong liquor in their handbags. Why not?

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands


View Larger Map

 

I hope you enjoyed this short introduction to the Dutch Carnival in Venlo. Let me know what you think and please follow me on Instagram!

[:nl]

Last week, I celebrated the Dutch Carnival in the city of Venlo. Experience this special historical celebration yourself, through my Instagram photos.

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, Carnival is called ‘Carnaval‘ or ‘Vastelaovend‘ (in the Limburg province) and it is mostly celebrated in the southern provinces of North Brabant and Limburg (the Catholic regions).

Officially, this festival is celebrated from Sunday to Tuesday, but in the city of Venlo (Limburg), where you can find one of the biggest and most traditional celebrations, everyone can be found dressed up and ready to go from Friday on.

Being from Amsterdam, we never celebrated the Carnival as a kid. But with a boyfriend from Venlo, I got thrown into the festivities since I first arrived there in 2008, making up for good times missed.

The last 2 years we lived abroad, so we had to miss out on this yearly tradition, but this year we were able to join in again. For me, it’s great fun to hear a different dialect (conversations and songs) all day and learning more and more about this amazing tradition.

 

Celebrating Carnival in the Netherlands

The Carnival in Venlo is totally different to other Carnival celebrations in Holland, as they have their own dialect, original songs (no apres ski music!) and special traditions.

The ‘Vastelaovend’ in Venlo includes a ‘prince’ plus cortege (the ‘Council of 11’, eleven being the number of craziness), multiple stages with performing artists (Saturday), performances of local drum bands (Sunday), a parade (Monday) and the last day a traditional farmers wedding (Tuesday).

Let me show you what’s going on in Venlo:

(click on images for bigger version) 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands
World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

 

What To Wear During Dutch Carnival?

Dressing up is a serious business in Venlo. You really stand out if you aren’t wearing a wig, hat, mask or a complete outfit. Some pubs won’t even let you in if you don’t participate.

A lot of people make their own outfits, and they get so creative!

I’ve seen a group of friends dressed as giraffes, a guy carrying a bin with Oscar the Grouch (fully moving mouth and eyes and all!), the Thunderbirds (above), girls with amazing flower-covered dresses and for my boyfriend we made a complete Ostrich-costume a couple years ago.

This year we didn’t have a lot of time, as we’ve only just arrived back in Holland from Sydney, so  I went for a store bought pirate, nurse and Japanese costume. Yes, every day a different costume is pretty standard.

In the picture bottom left, you can see one of the drum bands (called ‘Joekskepel‘) performing. These bands always create their own costumes, including matching outfits for partners and children. They participate in the parade as well and every year there are winners in different categories, selected by a jury. As the band above has an old fire truck to move around (see image below from 2010), they dressed as flames.

 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

The parade goes right through the heart of historical Venlo

 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

Of course the Carnival also comes with lots of beer and deep-fried crap (such as ‘kroketten‘ and ‘frikandellen‘), one of our countries ‘specialty’ dishes. But being with your friends, have long chats and a great time is the most important thing!

 

Special Carnival Traditions in Venlo

On Tuesdays, there is a farmers wedding (‘Boerenbroelof‘) at Venlo’s city Hall.

Everybody dresses up in black and white, and walking through the old streets really gives you the feeling of going back in time.

It’s one of my most favourite days during the Dutch Carnival. On the photo with the horse, you can see the bridal party.

 

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

Town Hall of Venlo City

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

Yes, some people do wear wooden shoes and grandma’s with fur coats carry bottles of strong liquor in their handbags. Why not?

World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands World Festival - Carnival Venlo, The Netherlands

 

View Larger Map

 

I hope you enjoyed this short introduction to the Dutch Carnival in Venlo. Let me know what you think and please follow me on Instagram!

[:]

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