16 February - 21 February
13 February 2023

What is it all about this festival in red, yellow and green? Carnaval in the Netherlands is a celebration of craziness, of oppositeness, of the switching of what were once normal social roles in society and turning the world on its head. 

You can also join the celebration and you will see that it is secretly one of the most fun parties of the year!

A few highlights in Maastricht Region:

Thursday Kick off carnaval on Thursday evening with the Auw Wieverbal. The largest are in Sittard (Markt) and in Valkenburg (Walramplein). Women dressed unrecognisably as an 'oud wijf' (old lady) symbolically take over from men and go out alone. 

Sunday Most of the large parades will be on Sunday. The largest Carnaval parade in Maastricht is De Boonte Störm. Boonte means Bonte (colourful). Featuring major Carnaval groups but also soloists. 

Many towns and villages in limburg organise parades like this for example the Groëete Óptoch Heële in Heerlen, the Waereldsjtadvastelaovesoptoch (City parade) in Geleen and the Groote Optoch Zitterd (Large parade Sittard) in Sittard . 

Monday True to local tradition, on Carnevalsmaandag (Carnival Monday), the Femilie- en Kinderoptoch (the family and children's Parade) will make its way through the streets of Maastricht.

Tuesday The Groeëte Gulpener Vastelaoves Finale on Carnavalsdinsdag is the finale of Vastelaovend, what Carnaval is called in Limburgse dialect. A freely accessible Carnaval event on the Markt in Gulpen where celebrating together one last time is paramount. The programme starts at 15:15 and lasts until 20:00.

End your carnaval celebrations in an enchanting way with de Lichtstoet (Light parade) in the city centre of Heerlen. (starting 20:11). During the Light Parade, you can enjoy the most beautiful carnaval floats beautifully lit. 


© Maastricht Marketing /Jean Pierre Geussens