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Eindhoven from A to Z: Carnival

Start the polonaise! As a true Eindhovenaar, there is only one place to celebrate carnival: Lampegat. Every city has its own unique nickname during carnival. Can you guess why Eindhoven is called Lampegat? We’ll give you a hint: roughly translated, Lampegat means Lightbulb Dump. Get dressed up as Waldo, a LED light, a pirate, or traditionally in a “boerenkiel” (a farmer’s smock) in the orange-blue Lampegat colors. The crazier, the better. Make yourself comfortable, order a drink, and we'll get you up to speed on the C of Carnival.

The official kick-off of the biggest event in the South happens on 11 November, also known as ‘Elluf Elluf’ (eleven eleven). Why? The number eleven is considered the fool’s number. The reason is completely unclear, although several theories are going around. The most important thing to remember is that on the eleventh of the eleventh, the new prins carnival is designated (except in Eindhoven, where it happens the day before carnival), and the bars open at 11:11.


Originally, carnival was a Catholic festival celebrating the beginning of Lent, the fasting period before Easter. In order to "survive" that fast like a (dressed up) soldier, people needed a few days of feasting. The result: carnival! Because many people in the south of the Netherlands were (or still are) Catholic, the biggest dress-up party is mostly celebrated below the two big rivers that split the country in half.

Now that you’re fully prepared, there’s only one thing left to do: put on your most ridiculous outfit and dive into the festivities. But before you head out, make sure to check when the party begins (upcoming year, it’s 9 February). Otherwise, you’ll be very lonely at the Stadhuisplein, all dressed up as a mermaid. 

Carnaval Stratumseind

Join the party!

Ready to get lost in all the craziness? Put on a wig and shout "Salaai," the Eindhoven carnival greeting, as often as possible. They even made a song about it! Or memorize our beginner's guide for your first carnival. We’ll tell you exactly where to score your outfit, where the best party is, and where it's fun for your kids. But first, let’s see if you’ve been paying attention: how many times do you count the word 'carnival' in this text? We count 'elluf'.

Eindhoven from A to Z

Curious about what defines Eindhoven? We asked newcomers, enthusiastic visitors, and locals alike. The outcome? The ultimate Eindhoven alphabet – from Area 51 to the Z of 'Zachte G'. No idea what that means? We'll tell you all about it! 

Discover the Eindhoven alphabet