Want to experience a Dutch Carnival at it's finest? Come visit the Maastricht Carnival on your next trip to the Netherlands!
The Maastricht Carnival is a three-day public street celebration-which takes place every year six weeks before Easter Sunday in anticipation of Ash Wednesday and Lent. While originally a European "spring festival", "Carnival" became assimilated into the Catholic religion and was a great celebration before the 40 days of fasting during Lent Began. Today, Carnival Has become a time when people suspend social norms and take part in role reversals.
The Carnival Occurs in Maastricht, the capital city of Limburg province, in the southern part of the Netherlands. Young and old participate, creating outlandish costumes and striking and colorful floats. During the three-day celebration, there are live bands, plenty to eat and drink, a grand parade, and lots of merry-making in the streets.
The first day of Carnival Commences at 11 am When the Carnival's "Prince of Fools" is Officially appointed in the main market square. The Major hands on a "key" to the city-which symbolically transfers power to the Prince for three days. This is followed by the grand carnival parade Throughout the city center streets. Day two is normally designated "Family Day" with a separate children's parade taking place in the afternoon. On the third and final day, there's a lively brass band competition (known as Zate Hermeniekesconcours) and the closing of the festivities at midnight.
So if you are looking for lots of laughter, music, dancing, and friendship, grab a costume and join the Maastricht Carnival celebration of spring!
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