Experience the Netherlands like you never experienced it before. Head to the southern regions of the Netherlands in February and celebrate the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020 with the locals. Go below the rivers and indulge yourself in the Burgundian lifestyle.

Cosy atmosphere carnaval maastricht netherlands Verita's Visit
Cosy atmosphere carnaval maastricht

Updated 7-1-2020

No River High Enough

The Netherlands is divided. Divided by the great rivers Meuse, Waal, Rijn, Lek, Merwede. The Dutch use the expression below the great rivers (or above the great rivers) to indicate a difference between the North and the South of the Netherlands. In the past these were religious differences: the northern regions, those above the rivers, were mostly protestant, southern provinces below the rivers mostly catholic.  Religion plays a less dominant role in Dutch society these days and you don’t hear the expression that much any more. Except for during carnival. Carnaval is still celebrated mostly in the south, below the rivers.

All dressed up for Winter carnival in Limburg, Netherlands

The Dutch Top of Happiness

No matter how long you stay in Holland, I really recommend a visit to Maastricht. It is the capital of Limburg. Limburg is the most southern province of the Netherlands. Maastricht is split in two parts by the river Meuse and is surrounded by hills. The highest ‘mountain’ top of 322m in the Netherlands is in three-country point Vaals.  Vaals, Liege (Belgium) and Aachen (Germany) are all a 30km away from Maastricht. Due to its proximity with Belgium and Germany, you see the influences in history and daily life. Food in Limburg and Maastricht is called Burgundian, Bourgondisch and the cuisine you find here is one of the best in the Netherlands. The Maastricht locals seem immensly happy and relaxed. Especially during the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020.

Different colorful bands perform on the streets of this Southern Dutch city

The Local Maastricht Festival

Whether you like carnaval or not, do not miss out on the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020. As you might have understood from previous posts, I do love local festivals. It is the ideal way to connect with locals in a relaxed way. If you do not live or stay in Maastricht, your Dutch winter carnaval experience will start in the train to Maastricht. People, many from the Limburg province,  dress in their best carnival outfits and there’s an extremely happy, relaxed atmosphere in the  train.

Locals call Maastricht ‘Mestreech’

Colorful Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020

What I notice when I see the parades in the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020 is that it’s all about having fun. Many activities are really for the whole family. Sure, there is alcohol involved and especially in the evening it can become a bit caotic, but the main activities such as the carnival parades are just good fun. There’s even a full day dedicated to kids & families. I love how Maastricht, which unlike other cities doesn’t change its name during carnaval, turns into this amazingly colorful city. The red-green decoration is everywhere and locals proudly wear their city’s colors.

Go Deep, Go Below the Rivers

Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020 can really bring some color to the dull and grey February days in the Netherlands. No need to go down under though, going below the rivers will do! Winter Carnival in Maastricht is from 23 till 25 February 2020. The main winter carnaval parade is on February 23 at 13:33h.  Check the program and activities on Visit Maastricht.

To add to your event calendar: The Maastricht carnaval takes place from February 14 till 16, 2021

Looking for more colorful parades in the Netherlands in 2020? Verita’s Visit Holland goes behind the scenes of the Keukenhof flower parade from Wednesday 22 April till Friday 24 April 2020. Want to join her on a cycle tour or just for a visit behind the scenes?   Contact  Verita’s Visit Holland for more information.

 

Are you coming to the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2018 Verita's Visit
Are you coming to the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020?

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