How to enjoy carnival in Eindhoven
If you are an expat living in Eindhoven, you might be wondering what carnival is all about and how to join the fun. Carnival is a traditional festival that celebrates the last days before Lent, a period of fasting and penance in the Christian calendar. In the Netherlands, carnival is mainly celebrated in the southern provinces of Limburg and Brabant, where Eindhoven is located. During carnival, the city is transformed into Lampegat, which means “city of light” in the local dialect. This name refers to the history of Eindhoven as a center of innovation and technology, especially for Philips, the famous electronics company.
Carnival in Eindhoven is a colorful and lively event that lasts for five days, from Friday 9 February to Tuesday 13 February 2024. During this time, the city is filled with music, parades, costumes, and parties. People of all ages and backgrounds join the festivities, which are meant to be a time of joy and freedom. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your carnival experience in Eindhoven, with a special focus on D’n Schuur, one of the most popular and unique venues in the city.
– Dress up: One of the most important aspects of carnival is dressing up in a creative and funny costume. You can choose any theme or character you like, as long as it is not offensive or disrespectful. You can also wear accessories such as hats, masks, wigs, or face paint. The idea is to express yourself and have fun. You can buy or rent costumes at various shops in the city, or make your own at home. Don’t be shy to show off your outfit and mingle with other carnival-goers.
– Watch the parade: On Saturday 10 February 2024, the city center will host the grand carnival parade, which starts at 12:30 pm and lasts for about three hours. The parade features dozens of floats and groups, each with their own theme and music. You can expect to see a lot of humor, satire, and creativity on display. The parade is a great opportunity to admire the craftsmanship and enthusiasm of the participants, who have been preparing for months. You can watch the parade from the sidewalks, or join in the fun by dancing and singing along. Make sure to arrive early to find a good spot, and dress warmly, as it can get cold in February.
– Visit D’n Schuur: D’n Schuur is a large tent that is set up near the Paterskerk, a former church that is now a cultural center. D’n Schuur is one of the most popular and unique venues during carnival in Eindhoven, as it offers a variety of events and activities for everyone. D’n Schuur is open from Friday to Tuesday, from noon to 4 am. The entrance is free.
You can buy drinks and snacks at the bar
– Explore the city: Besides D’n Schuur, there are many other places and activities to discover during carnival in Eindhoven. Don’t be afraid to interact with the locals, who are usually very friendly and welcoming. You can learn some words and phrases in the local dialect, such as “Alaaf”, which is a cheerful greeting and expression of approval, or “Houdoe”, which means goodbye.
– Visit the squares: During carnival, the main squares of Eindhoven become the epicenters of the party. Each square has its own tent, stage, and bar, where you can enjoy live music, DJ sets, and performances. The most popular squares are the Stadhuisplein, the Markt, and the Wilhelminaplein. Each square has a different vibe and audience, so you can choose the one that suits your taste and mood. The Stadhuisplein is the largest and most crowded square, where you can find the Bavaria Bierhal, a huge tent that hosts various events, such as the famous “3 uurkes vurraf” show on Friday, which kicks off the carnival with a bang. The Markt is the favorite spot for the younger crowd, where you can dance to the latest hits and party until late. The Wilhelminaplein is the newest and most relaxed square, where you can enjoy a more traditional and cozy atmosphere, with live bands and singers. The squares are open from Friday to Tuesday, from noon to 4 am. The entrance is free. You can buy drinks and snacks at the bars. Be prepared to queue for the toilets, and keep an eye on your belongings, as it can get very busy and chaotic.
– Have fun: The most important thing to remember during carnival in Eindhoven is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Carnival is a time to let go of your worries and inhibitions, and embrace the spirit of the festival. You can be whoever you want to be, and do whatever you want to do, as long as you respect yourself and others. You can make new friends, have new experiences, and create unforgettable memories. Carnival is a unique and special event that you don’t want to miss. So, put on your costume, grab your drink, and join the party.