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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Carnaval in Maastricht

With snow falling almost the entire day we braved our way to Maastricht on Sunday to watch the Carnival parade. We saw 0 people dressed up as we marched our way to the Eindhoven station. I almost thought perhaps they had canceled the whole thing. Getting into the train leaving to Maastricht, we were all slightly relieved that our 'costume efforts' had not been a complete waste.

The entire train load that got off in Maastricht was probably walking towards the parade. I actually spotted some other friends and colleagues from Eindhoven. The whole city was in such festive mood. What I truly love about the carnival is that its not a festival for a category of people. Young and old, everybody is on the streets celebrating wearing some crazy costume. A lot of people do take it rather seriously and the dressing is elaborate. The city looked like an animation movie with all characters ever created running wild!

We were extremely cold in a few hour's time. As the snow fell continuously, my feet and hands went numb. The parade showed no signs of stopping so we decided to move on.

Interestingly, the names of the cities are changed for 3 days before the Ash Wednesday. The name given to Eindhoven is Lampegat which means a Lamp hole from Philips' association with Eindhoven. I found it rather funny actually to name a city Lamphole...:)

Picture Courtesy - Vinaya Sekar, Abhinav Rohit


EFRUTIK said...

Lovely pics, I think that your freezing was well worth it :)

What is the carnival about?

Akhi Di said...

WOW ..So many carnivals huh?

Aledys Ver said...

Nice photos! Looking at them, it is evident that they take the Carnival quite seriously. I'm sure they spend months preparing for this. I know that they do in Brazil and in the northeast of my country, where you have different "schools" that spend the whole year organizing, practising the choreographies (because over there, they dance hehehe) and designing and making the costumes. I'm not very fond of Carnival but I think it's totally worth seeing at least once in your lifetime! And several times too :o)

Orangesplaash said...

I was surprised to notice in the last year's carnival that there goes a lot of preparations into it..There were like hundreds of people practicing their steps, choreographing the moves etc. The carnival is not something I would like to go every year to, but I do love the colors. Nice photos btw :)

Pres├ępio no Canal said...

Your fotos are superb! :-) You must display always some of them in your blog.Very beautiful, indeed!

I wish I could go this year...who knows next year? ;-)

A Touch of Dutch said...

These photos are wonderful! Lately with all of the talk of Maastricht, I've made a definite plan to visit sometime in the spring. Long overdue visit, I should say ;-)

I wanted to let you know as well I got both of your comments on my recent blog post but only posted one. Did you mind if I posted the other as well [where you explain the one post ID]?

Have a great week!

Melissa said...

Hi there..I keep stumbling onto expat blogs today..and found yours too. My husband is from Maastricht and after living in the US with me for 13 years we're moving in a few months to NL(Maastricht!). Can't wait to finally experience Carnaval in person. Great pictures ;-)

thamarai said...

Efrutik, thanks! Yes the scene was worth watching under a snow fall...The carnival is a festival celebrated for 3 days before starting the Lent fast, 40 days before Easter.

Akila, Its celebrated for 3 days de. This time I din't see the parade in my city as its very small scale. Instead went to a city where it is celebrated rather grandly.

Aledys Ver, Ya, I heard that too. They spend a lot of time designing and practising for the parade. I have also heard the parades in Germany are much bigger, especially in Cologne and also that the ones in Brazil are perhaps the best. :)

Orangesplaash, agreed! Even I wouldn't go to it every year unless I live in the major cities. But it makes me feel good. In a country where people seem to stick to rather sober colors in winter, it is a huge change to see so many colors...:)

Presepio no Canal, Thanks a lot. I am sure you are going to have a great time when you visit it the next year..

A Touch of Dutch, haha you must. Oh how I would love to see these pictures through your camera! :)
Oh please feel free to publish any of the two comments or edit it as you see appropriate.

Melissa, Thanks for visiting my blog! Woow, you are moving to a great city, the oldest I think in NL. Wish you great luck on this new journey of yours.

A Touch of Dutch said...

Done ;-)
Both are posted up!
Have a great weekend!

Anita said...

Thanks for the photos. I have read on the papers that it was so cold that they were advising people to stay home. Is this carnival, under the snow ? I still think Brazil has the biggest Carnival on Earth.

thamarai said...

Touch of Dutch, thanks! :)

Anita, yes I have heard the one in Brazil is incredible.. I hope I can see that one day. And cold it was! We had to come back half way through! :(

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The seeker of liberty: "No one binds me."
Zen master: "Then why seek liberation?"
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