Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Carnaval!

Please sing along: It's beinning to a look a like Carnaval, everywhere you go! It's that time of year. Here in the south the Carnaval season has officially begun. Festivals, parades, Carnaval music, red, yellow, and green decorating the streets of Maastricht and of course beer! 
Can you find Jaap? He's the one playing the valve trombone. I'm a music teacher and I didn't even know what that was. Apparently it's perfect for playing in pubs with crowds of slightly drunk people. (Less chances of damaging the slide). 
The rest of the Netherlands does not take part in these celebrations. I can say that the party is really only happening here in the dirty south. The Netherlands is basically divided into two parts. The north and south. Protestant and Catholic. Noord Brabant and Limburg are the two southern provinces that are predominantly Catholic and celebrate Carnaval. Maastricht is famous for it's Carnaval costumes and celebrations and I'm so happy that we live here to be in the center of it all. 
For years Jaap has played with the Redt Band, a Carnaval party band from his hometown. Since we only live an hour from there he is able to still play with them for Carnaval season. Last Sunday was my first time experiencing the joys of this holiday. There was a festival in Oirschot and the Redt Band made their 2011 Carnaval season debut. I'm officially a Redt Band groupie. The festival took part in several pubs with bands from Oirschot as well as surrounding cities and towns. Lots of beer, loud music, and good times. Note to self: Bring earplugs next time. Ouch. Saying I had fun is an understatement. I had a blast! There were lots of Carnaval bands participating throughout the day, but I must say the Redt Band was my favorite. I know I'm biased, but they really know how to entertain. 
Warning: It's advised to have at least one beer before watching the following video clips. It's easier on the ears. :)

I'm looking forward to all the festivities happening during the next month with the Redt Band and in Maastricht as well.  I really feel far from home because of all these different experiences and traditions.  At the same time I'm happy to be here because you won't see any of this in New York!

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