Carnaval in The Netherlands

Hello there, I thought a good post would be to share the crazy, absurd experience that is Carnaval here in The Netherlands. If you’re from a sad little Protestant country like me, then you have probably never seen Carnaval. It’s the Dutch equivalent of Mardi Gras.

It’s basically where the Dutch and those in other more Catholic countries dress up, listen to really tacky/brilliant Europop (Helena Fischer must make millions!), and have a few hundred beers alongside. It’s incredibly messy and brilliant and to top it all off everyone wakes up after the five day festivities with a real sexy frog voice. It’s a very surreal experience because there’s people of all nationalities and ages so it’s quite normal to see babies and grandmas all dressed up and having a good old party, which is all part of the charm.

Okay according to the extremely reliable source that is Wiki, Carnaval is actually a “Pagan Spring Festival” which represents the passage of Winter into Spring (although this seems somewhat too optimistic because we seemed to be plagued at the moment by NEVER ENDING Winter). The Christians kind of jumped on the band wagon as the massive party tagged on nicely to the days preceding Lent (I’m noticing a trend here *cough-Christmas- cough*.It’s nice when stuff works out, eh?

Carnaval here actually started in November and it’s a massive day long piss-up. Then Carnaval properly resumes around what we in England know as pancake day. But here on the continent they have way more fun than just pancakes 😦 Also here in the region of Limburg (South- Netherlands) we actually take Carnaval to the next level and basically go all out for six days (instead of just Monday to Ash Wednesday), the supermarkets are on special hours and most people except get ALLLLL the days off to basically just get sozzled.

So now you have read my not so TripAdvisor worthy review here are a few photos…



Also if you want to see a video check out my Instagram post here…

Unfortunately I didn’t take more photos because I was absolutely sozzled but you probably catch the drift-blaring music, bright colours and baaaaad decisions.


Robyn x

6 thoughts on “Carnaval in The Netherlands”

  1. Around here, we have Mardi Gras, which goes on for a week and reaches its climax on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent starts. Sort of a last big bash before 6 weeks of Spartan living). Hope you have some good memories of Carnaval (or any at all, for that matter!) 🙂


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