This time a year is the time for Carnival, and the ultimate opportunity to celebrate and experience the Dutch atmosphere as an expat. Carnival is celebrated mainly in the southern part of the Netherlands (below the rivers Maas, Waal and Rijn). Some cities and towns have alternative names during this period.
Traditionally, carnival is a festivity centered around eating, eating and more eating. As carnival is celebrated before the 40-day fasting period it provided the ultimate opportunity to indulge. Nowadays, carnival is slightly comparable to Halloween in the US: people dress up in their favorite (goofy) costumes and go out. There are big parties in the city centers where many people (among whom also knowledge migrants) enjoy themselves on the streets and in the pubs. Officially, the festivities take place from Sunday to Tuesday, but they often start earlier (sometimes even on Friday!) Cozy and fun-filled days for everyone!