I’m nervous. Something big is going down this weekend and if it’s anything like New Year’s Eve (which I was completely unprepared for) I am right to be concerned. What’s coming is Carnival in the Netherlands 2013- brace yourselves!
For the past few weeks I have seen the stores decorated and the costume shops open with the anticipation of Carnaval (Carnival? I keep seeing it spelled both ways). To show my ignorance- before moving here if you had asked me what Carnival was- I would have asked if it was that thing down in Rio where people party hard and get naked. Or a cruise ship where I contracted the norovirus and lost 10 pounds.
Ah no. That’s not what it is here at least.
I didn’t realize that kids would be dressed up this week in school (poor B was dressed in the classroom ladybug costume when I picked him up on Monday) and felt rather guilty for not having any costumes… just another holiday that I have missed… But wait! shoved back in the corner of an upstairs closet I had the Halloween costumes that I brought with us from the states!
And of course, a Great White Shark!
On our walk to school this morning there was a festive feeling in the air and as we strolled along we passed a little boy dressed as a tiger sprinkling his confetti trail all the way to school. Of course, my first thought was – ‘oh man, am I glad I am not teaching high school anymore!’ Ha! Seriously- can you imagine your classroom of kids? Knowing my former school it would probably also fall of the same day as state testing.
This weekend there is to be crazy celebration and partying- as one friend on Twitter told me ‘Some people LIVE for Carnival all year!’- and we are going to try and hit up a parade on Sunday. One interesting factoid I learned was that “…the oldest-known Dutch Carnival festivities date from 1385 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. They are depicted in several paintings by 15th-century painter Jheronimus Bosch.” If that’s doesn’t appeal to the history nerd in me, I don’t know what does.
A wonderful travel guru Monique Rubin wrote up 11 Things About Carnival in The Netherlands (and where I learned about the origination of the festivities) if you’d like to learn more. I hope to have photos next week after we attend a parade.
Happy Friday everyone!
Have you ever lived somewhere that celebrated holidays you didn’t know about or understand? How did you deal with them?