The Celebration of Carnival

After reading the previous blog on carnival FAQ you probably think carnival is all fun and games. Think again! Carnival in Oeteldonk is serious business… at least to some Bosschenaren.

When and where is carnival?
First of all, you need to know when and where carnival takes place.
This year (2018) the official carnival celebration takes place from Sunday February 11 until Tuesday February 13. However, many people can not wait this long and start partying Thursday the 8th.


Carnival takes place in most cities and villages in Noord Brabant and Limburg. In Oeteldonk (Den Bosch) you can enjoy the party all over the center.

An overview of the festivities can be found on the website of De Oeteldonkse Club van 1882.
To really attend the play of carnival, there are some important events you have to visit.

The arrival of HRH Prince Amadeiro XXV
HRH Prince Amadeiro XXV will arrive on Sunday February 11 at 11:11 am on Platform 1 of Oeteldonk Central Station (‘s-Hertogenbosch Central Station). He will be welcomed by Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel tot den Bobberd. He is the mayor for the next three days. HRH Prince Amadeiro will be accompanied by ‘t Gevollug (the Entourage). HRH Prince Amadeiro will give a speech and make his way to the market.prins amadeiro

The official name of this royalty is: Zijne Koninklijke Hoogheid (His Royal Highness) Prins Amadeiro Ricosto di Canavallo, Ridder van Reksam, Heer en Meester van Oeteldonk en deszelfs omliggende watervrije moerassen en zandwoenstijnen, etc. etc. etc. You will always address him as His Royal Highness Prince Amadeiro.

‘t Gevollug is formed by 11 people (10 generals and 1 corporal).

The revelation of farmer Knillis

Around 2.55 pm, HRH Prince Amadeiro will officially open the carnival festivities at the market square. Here Oeteldonks most famous farmer, Knillis, is waiting in the bitter cold with a cloth over his head.

Knillis is all dressed up in the official Oeteldonk costume: a blue smock-frock (boerenkiel), a red handkerchief, white mittens, a farmers hat, emblems and the famous Red-White-Yellow scarf.

Leap years, Knillis is accompanied by his wife, Mother Hendrien. (not to be confused with Hendrien, the housekeeper of Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel).

Now, carnival in Oeteldonk officially started. Let the games begin!

Big procession
Mondays, at 12:55 am, the big procession takes place through the city center. Carnival clubs have created floats, each with a nod to the current events inside and outside the city of Den Bosch. Many take the opportunity to openly criticize local politics and politicians, with a big wink.

The final hour
Tuesday, at 11:33 at night, the ‘funeral’ of Knillis takes place. Carnival is now officially finished and bars close.

People will be crying their eyes out. Maybe because they realize they’ve spent all their money for just 3 days of fun, maybe because their husband or wife cheated, or just because they are so happy it is over. They all have their own reasons.

Fact is: people will be crying and carnival is officially over.

Eating and drinking
To really enjoy carnival, you have to be prepared for a lot of alcohol. Even if you don’t drink, people around you will. And the more they drink, the more they spill.


Because of the long hours you make during these days, make sure you are prepared. Try to eat enough during the day. Preferably ‘worstenbroodjes’ (sausage rolls) and ‘stamppot’ (stew / mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Believe me: you will need it!

The 11 Oeteldonkse commandments (original text)
To make sure everyone enjoys carnival, De Oeteldonkse Club van 1882 had drawn up a number of commandments.

We have translated them for you, so you know how to party like an Oeteldonker!

  1. You will celebrate in the small hours as never before
  2. You will honor HRH Amadeiro XXV, speak to our civil servant Peer van den Muggenheuvel and play the game for three days full of conviction
  3. You will feel like all other party-goers in our village and therefore nothing more than anyone else
  4. You will hock, jump and dance to the music of the clubs (but never in between)
  5. You will control the table of eleven and use it frequently
  6. You will decorate your clothes as much as possible with red-white-yellow accents or a mixture of them
  7. You will only speak the language of foolishness and fun so that we will understand each other well
  8. You will not call Alaaf within the boundaries of our village
  9. You will remain faithful to your partner and not be tempted into lewd behavior with third parties or celebrities
  10. You will use grain exclusively from paper scatter and do not buy or use spray cans within the boundaries of our village
  11. You will each celebrate your own party, but take into account the valid commandments

If you want to know more about Oeteldonk and carnival in Den Bosch, please visit the website of “De Oeteldonkse Club”. Here you can find all different information about the symbols and customs during carnival in Oeteldonk.

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