In the Netherlands, carnaval is enthusiastically celebrated, including creative costumes, lots of drinks and the music especially made for carnaval. Be sure to join a group of Dutchies from the south of the Netherlands: don't miss out on these celebrations!
The first day of Carnaval is six weeks before Easter Sunday. Carnaval officially begins on Sunday and lasts three days. In 2020, carnaval starts on 23 February. The holiday is mainly celebrated in the south of the country: the predominantly Catholic provinces Limburg and Noord-Brabant. Here, normal life comes to a near stop:roads are temporarily blocked, local businesses close for a week and everyone, young and old, dresses up in a costume and celebrates together. Everyone participates and is equal: carnaval is a celebration that crosses all social hierarchical boundaries.
Dutch carnaval traditions
Dutch Carnaval has many traditions going back hundreds of years. The carnaval celebrations start in almost every town and city under the river Maas, after mayors symbolically hand over the key of their city to 'Prince Carnaval'. For three days, Prince Carnaval controls the city. Also, each city participating in carnaval will have a parade, which is seen by many as the highlight of carnaval celebrations. These parades have floats designed by local associations and volunteers.
Sunday 23 February until Tuesday 25 February 2020
If you would like to join in on carnaval celebrations, we recommend visiting the larger cities in provinces Limburg or Noord-Brabant. The towns and cities in those provinces are transformed each year into carnaval cities.