Did you celebrate carnaval?
This time around, Carnaval was from the 2nd to the 4th of March. It’s one of the craziest times in the south of Holland where people dress up and drink till they drop. Elaborate costumes, music and a festive spirit really make this an event the masses really flock to.
Jordan Bosl, 21 International Economics & Supply Chain Management
“We arrived to Carnaval for a day-trip in Maastricht at Vrijthof Square. Seemingly prepared with a tiger onesie and gloves I got off the train only to see that it was nothing compared to all the other outfits. My favorite of all was actually two elderly ladies dressed as mad hatters with balloons and foam. It really played in nicely with the parade and floats. We followed those to the Square where each one had its own set of music. There was a lot of pop, techno and dance music when I actually expected more traditional tunes. It’s something that is so different from what we have in the United States where the closest thing is a combination of College Halloween and New Year’s.”
Gheed Allawy, 22, Health Economics
“I went with my sister and two friends to Breda. I dressed as a strawberry on the first day and a large M&M on the second. Some of the costumes you see are incredible and my favorite one was hands-down a couple suited up as Tetris blocks. Carnaval is such a nice party, but if you don’t drink there’s very little you can take out of it. Plus, the music is very folk-like making it a little trickier to dance to without being drunk. But even so it’s a festival for everybody because during the day it’s quite family-friendly. I saw children of all ages walking with their parents and enjoying the festivity and atmosphere.
It’s such a pity it’s not celebrated in Rotterdam and other northern areas. The reason for the division is that Brabant (the southern part of Holland) was largely Catholic while the upper part is Protestant. So Catholics would celebrate for religious reasons but by now, this is really not on people’s minds while celebrating. Still, half of Rotterdam showed up when I was there, people from my association and classmates.”
Roxanne Austin, 20, Bestuurskunde
“I was very pleased with all the attractive men during the carnival. There was a guy with a fat boy costume with the cutest face and all I could think was, I want that fat boy! But my favorite outfit was definitely one guy dressed as Tinder. I was a koala bear but everybody thought and even insisted I was a rabbit. Even this one person, who was a carrot came up to me and thought we really matched up. Honestly, costumes are the best part of this event and you really have to go dressed.
We mostly danced in Kerkplein in Breda, where a stage was built for performances. You’ll find that the music during Carnival is structured quite simply. That way people can sway and sing along. You’ll also see a lot of a strange things during carnival. For instance, there was also a small band of grandmothers above 60 years old making music with their drums, it was really hilarious to watch.” NAH