Tired of over-the-top, in your face dirty carnaval songs? Bored with racist slurs and sexist bullshit? Can’t look at another badly dressed moron from ‘above the rivers’ singing about beer and getting drunk?
Then this parody of carnaval song taken at face value is the Dutch carnaval song for you this year: Max Verstand & De Speld with ‘Maak weloverwogen keuzes’ (roughly ‘Make informed choices’). De Speld is a Dutch news satire site and this was an excellent idea even if it is from Amsterdam, the city that still manages to stave off carnaval fever.
Maak weloverwogen keuzes has everything you need: a nice man with a colourful outfit, a funny artist name (Max Verstand = maximum common sense), sounds a tad old fashion with the accordion rather than banging techno, and has a pretty woman and some partying.
It’s carnival time again in the South provinces of the Netherlands and yesterday in Heerlen, Limburg they had their children’s parade with parents, prams and princes. The red-green-yellow scarf that doesn’t match the rest adorns the carnival colours, a must have for many.
Besides a good story I wanted to know if the kids on the floats threw sweets like they did in when attended carnival in Cologne, Germany a few years back. Just as I reached into my purse to get my camera, I got beaned by a waffle! And I collected enough for breakfast before writing this.
Eventually the children’s carnival Prince, ‘Martijn 1’, showed up in full dress, waving to the crowd. From what I’ve learned, picking the carnival Prince is done by a serious carnival association and is chosen from different schools alternately. They also have princesses, it is done months in advance and is kept secret until the very last minute, a very dear tradition in these parts.
Has the tradition changed over the years? Well, I’m sure some things have, but a few things have definitely remained the same according to a former junior carnival Prince, vintage 1981.
Notice the ship-like float the junior carnival Prince and Princess were standing on here back in 1981? Well, they still use it today, the Blauw Sjuut in local dialect.
While more than half of the Netherlands does not celebrate carnaval, the South of the country, namely the provinces of Brabant and Limburg, take a good three days to do so every year. This year’s carnaval in Maastricht was blessed with good weather and people came from many parts of the world to take pictures.
Alaaf! is a carnaval cry from the Cologne (Germany) dialect meaning ‘elf’ (‘eleven’). According to tradition, 11 is the number of fools, probably because it is one less than 12, which is the number of perfection. Cologne’s carnaval usually has bigger crowds and the people in the parade throw tons of sweets onto the crowd. I also noticed that Cologne had more marching bands and much less DJs than in Maastricht.
One of my client’s from Maastricht asked me if I planned to celebrate carnaval this year. I said that I planned to go to Maastricht and take pictures. She asked if Carnaval was celebreated in Québec, Canada where I am from. I explained to her that the Québec Winter Carnaval lasts three weeks and is the biggest outdoor winter carnaval in the world. So I guess that’s a yes. And it’s usually really cold!