There is Carnaval and there is Carnaval. Of course everyone knows about carnaval in Rio. Well, we have something similar, yet totally different. Every year, 40 days before Easter people in the south of the Netherlands, and also in Germany and Belgium, get out and party.
Everyone dresses up in funny clothes (Ranging from clowns to robbers) and gets involved in the fun. There are big parades with huge floats in every city. Maastricht being one of the biggest cities, has also got one of the liveliest Carnaval celebrations.
Although the actual Carnaval celebrations don't start till february/march, the Carnaval season always starts on November the 11th. Eleven is the magic number for carnaval, and november is the 11th month.
This year there was a huge celebration at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Plein in Maastricht. All the famous carnaval singers were there to perform their music.
If you can visit Maastricht -- or in dialect, Mestreech -- during Carnaval time you will see a huge party. Carnaval on the Maas (River) is a wonderful time for families or for partying.
This picture is of the 2005 Carnaval Prinz who we met.
This colorful festival is huge in Brazil, but also in Germany and the southern part of the Netherlands. People dress up, there are parades with paper-mache creatures, ther are lots of (outdoor) parties and people of all ages play music. Bad music that is :-). Still, carnaval is something that you should experience once in your lifetime!
Carnaval in Maastricht is famous, at least for Dutch people. During this yearly festival in Febrary or March all Maastricht folk, both young and old, gets dressed up and celebrates everywhere in the city.
Special about Maastricht is that a lot of the action is going on outside, no matter the weather. It's perfectly alright to drink your glass of beer outside. A lot of brass band are playing throughout the centre as well as an increasing amount of samba bands wich you can here from far away.
So if you're in the Netherlands during Carnaval, travel to the far south and visit Carnaval in Holland's most beautiful Roman city.
By the way, Carnaval is virtuallynot celebrated in Amsterdam