Carnival in Oeteldonk

It’s that time of the year again that half of the Netherlands celebrates Carnival and the other half doesn’t. The North part of the country, historically the Calvinistic part, is then again totally different from the South part that was historically Roman-catholic. My hometown ’s-Hertogenbosch is in the South part and it is one of the most fanatic Carnival celebrating cities in the country.

Entire families cycle home after the Carnival celebrations in the city centre of Oeteldonk (’s-Hertogenbosch) and they are stil in a festive mood!

On Sunday morning, young and old, of every background gathers in the city centre to see the Carnival’s Prince arrive by train and in a merry parade everybody follows him and his entourage to City Hall where the real mayor hands over the keys to the city. This is the start of three days of celebrating. With lots of oom-pah music and beer and of course fancy dress. The city of ’s-Hertogenbosch becomes the ‘village’ of ‘Oeteldonk’ in which everybody is a ‘peasant’. So originally everybody wore the same plain dark blue peasant smock. Even though nowadays people feel a bit more free to dress up in whatever they like, the majority still wears a smock in this city, with something in the carnival colours: red, white and yellow.

Groups of friends cycling home after the first part of the Carnival celebrations.

When you drink a few beers and have a party what better means of transport than the bicycle. I filmed in the late afternoon and early evening when all the party-goers went home again. In their fancy dress on their bicycles. Which makes once again clear that the Dutch do not dress up for cycling, they simply wear whatever they are wearing for where they are cycling to!

That certainly is not a peasant smock…

People cycling at Carnival in Oeteldonk (’s-Hertogenbosch).

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