Halfvasten 2016 – another chance to visit Dutch carnival parades

Due to the predicted stormy weather back in February, several carnival parades (carnavalsoptochten) were postponed until this weekend (6 & 7 March 2o16). Why did they choose this weekend? Because it is Halfvasten, halfway through Lent. You can read more about it in last year’s post.

IMG_2465There are always a couple of parades at Halfvasten, but this year there are several extra opportunities to experience a full-scale carnival parade because it was too windy for some of the parades to take place in February. Organisers were worried that the huge carnival floats would be blown over by the wind, especially the ones that were planning to travel to another town to take part in their parade. So now you can take your pick.

In Oss, where a Halfvasten parade is an annual tradition, they claim not to be worried by the competition from the postponed carnival procession in Den Bosch because they have their own trusty supporters who come back year after year. The larger city of Den Bosch may have extra visitors this year anyway as carnival fans from elsewhere may decide to visit the city as they don’t normally have a chance to see the big parade as they are usually involved in their own local parades during the normal carnival weekend. Not to mention the extra draw of visiting the market square to see the building that collapsed last weekend.

Carnival and Halfvasten parades this weekend

If you want to experience the magic of carnival this weekend, these are the places that are holding parades, whether they be postponed carnival parades or Halfvasten parades already scheduled for this weekend. There are also many parades in Belgium in this period. You can find them listed on http://www.optochtenkalender.nl (see below). Sources: www.omroepbrabant.nl / www.optochtenkalender.nl
NB = Noord-Brabant, GLD = Gelderland, L = Limburg.

Saturday 5 March:

  • 12.00: Oijen, NB (Bokkenrijk), postponed parade
  • 14.00: Afferden, L
  • 15.11:   Ulicoten, NB (Haaikneuterslaand), postponed parade
  • 19.00: Lemelerveld, Overijssel, illuminated parade
  • 19.30:  Bladel, NB (Muggeziftersrijk), illuminated parade
  • 19.30:  Deurne, NB (Peelstrekelrijk), illuminated parade
  • 20.11:  Groesbeek, GLD (Keulen van het Noord / Gruusbek), illuminated Halfvasten parade

Sunday 6 March:

  • 12.49: Breda, NB (Kielegat), postponed parade
  • 12.55:  Den Bosch, NB (Oeteldonk), postponed parade –  televised live on Omroep Brabant
  • 13.11: Beek-Ubbergen (Berg & Dal), GLD, postponed Rozenmaondag parade
  • 13.11:   Oss, NB (Ossenkoppenrijk), Halfvasten parade
  • 13.11:   Valkenburg, L
  • 14.00:  Rimburg, L

Saturday 12 March:

For the relevant carnival organisations and websites, see my previous post about this year’s carnival parades.

I still owe you a post about the language of carnival. Coming soon, I hope!

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7 Responses to Halfvasten 2016 – another chance to visit Dutch carnival parades

  1. nougatine2 says:

    We don’t have this “Halfvasten” parade in Weert but we were lucky to be able to see the parade during the carnival weekend as the stormy weather only arrived one day later! Anyway that’s a good opportunity to see the parade in the cities affected by the storm and some postponed parades are also going on in Limburg this weekend. I guess the preparation of the floats would have been a lot of work for nothing otherwise!

    • I read something yesterday about one place (Druten, I think) where they only allowed walking groups (loopgroepen) this year because of the wind. So some of the groups took things off the float and walked instead. Many people thought it was more ‘gezellig’ and more community spirit. Others were very upset and would have preferred to postpone. I should update my post. I didn’t think of Limburg last night. Sorry, Limburgers!

  2. Pingback: Carnival parades in the Netherlands 2016 | Integrated Expat – a British expat's ode to Nijmegen, Arnhem & the Dutch

  3. Pingback: Carnival news 2016 and Wijchen parade photos | Integrated Expat – a British expat's ode to Nijmegen, Arnhem & the Dutch

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