In many countries it's called Carnival, in The Netherlands it's called Carnaval.
It's a huge festivity to celebrate the return of the light and the growth of plants and flowers, to ward of the bad spirits.
later it was stolen by the Christian religion to mark the start of a time of fasting and turning inward to prepare for the week leading to Easter and Easter itself.
Here it's celebrated by people dressing in fancy clothes, having parades with huge cars and drinking a lot of alcohol.
When I was young it started on sunday evening, after all the sunday masses, but nowadays it starts on friday at the schools.
It stops tuesday at midnight and when you're a good carnaval fan you'll eat raw herring to mark the start of the fasting time.
I've never really liked Carnaval.
Ofcourse I took part in it just like the other kids, but when I was at high school I gladly was a member of the organizing committee so I could skip all the dancing and yelling.
I don't like mixing with drunk people so I've never taken part since, except for once during my university years.
We went to a small village, watched the parade and had dinner. Then went home, because we had to do a lot of studying.
Did you ever take part in Carnival?
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