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Beginner's guide: How to Celebrate carnival in Eindhoven

When you hear that typical polonaise music, see the young and the old dressing up and hear people greeting each other with ‘salaai’, well then carnival is definitely on! A short Carnival survival guide for every newcomer to the party.

When can I celebrate Carnival?

That varies from town to town and it's advisable to check well in advance. You won’t be the first enthousiast showing up all dressed up when the rest hasn't started yet. In Eindhoven, the party starts on Friday, February 17, and will last through Tuesday, February 21st (for the real die-hards).

How should I dress up?

Actually you can't go wrong here, people even dress up as bananas and frogs. It's mainly a chance to be someone completely different for once! Originality is always appreciated, a wink to current events as well. If you have a hard time getting your costume organised, think of your favourite Netflix series. So, Wednesday it is.

Where can I buy Carnival clothes?

If you're serious about Carnival, the search for an outfit starts months in advance. In vintage stores like YATVA or Second Floor you will always find beautiful items that you can combine with what you still have in your closet. Or get an entire outfit in one of the many carnival shops in town. Could you use some more inspiration? We got you covered with our what to wear guide.


Who will be ‘Prince Carnival’?

If only we knew! Who will become the ‘Stadsprins’, is every year the best kept secret of Eindhoven. The unveiling takes place during the Federation Ball, the Saturday before Carnival. Around midnight last year’s Prince will step down and 'De Neie' will take off his mask. 

Is there also a parade?

The parade is the easiest way to celebrate Carnival. Find yourself a nice spot along the route and enjoy the months of work on floats and costumes. The parade is always great fun and a perfect place to take your children. So yes, usually there is a parade. The parade will start from the Stratumsedijk along the Kanaalstraat towards the PC Hooftlaan (near the Van Abbemuseum). This year it takes place on Saturday 18. 


What to do?

During Carnival Eindhoven transforms into Lampegat, as the city is called for five days. There will parties in almost all bars of the city, but also in special marquees on the Markt and the Wilhelminaplein. An important element are the Carnival songs. And of course the dancing, whether or not ‘in polonaise’.

What’s for dinner?

Think of anything with lots of carbohydrates and fats. Sausage rolls (‘worstenbroodjes’), frikandels and french fries are popular options. Enjoy them while you can, because according to Catholic tradition, Lent begins after Carnival. 'Ash Wednesday' marks the beginning of this fasting period with the eating of herring. This tradition takes place at various places in town. 

Enjoy the ride!