Thursday, February 15, 2018


Carnival is originally a Christianized pagan folk festival. Historically the party falls around the first Sundays of Lent, but is nowadays traditionally limited to only one (extended) weekend around this period. 
Carnival is the feast of foolishness, ridicule and exuberance that puts it in stark contrast to fasting. There are regionally different names for this festival in the Low Lands: in the Belgian and Dutch provinces of Limburg and the adjacent German Rhineland it is called Vastelaovend, in southern Germany Fasnacht (fasting evening).
Carnival's date finds its current origin in the ecclesiastical calendar, which is counted from Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is, according to the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), the first Sunday after the first full moon after the beginning of spring (March 21). Lent begins 40 days of fasting for Easter Monday, with Sundays not counted. The first Carnival Day then falls seven weeks before Easter Sunday. Carnival officially starts on Sunday.
Carnival being widely celebrated in the Netherlands, there is a demand to Government to make these official holidays. A petition has been started to gather a minimum of 40.000 signatures to have this brought to Parliament (but has already 170.000 and counting).
Captaining the activists is former football player and nowadays musician Bj√∂rn van der Doelen, aka Sjefke Vaeren. His outfit, including customized beret, has been widely copied and, thanks to brewer Bavaria, the beret is available online for a few euro each!

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