News Esther Niehot 29 oktober 2022

Carnival in 's-Hertogenbosch

If you are just living or planning to live in 's-Hertogenbosch, I must tell you something about carnival. For many people from 's-Hertogenbosch, this is the celebration that is looked forward to all year. I was not born in 's-Hertogenbosch so I too had to learn how to celebrate carnival. I assure you: with a lot of enthusiasm and a little foreknowledge, you will succeed too.

In this article, I'll tell you a bit about the history of carnival in 's-Hertogenbosch and how we celebrate it now. What's the deal with the farmer's smock, white-red-yellow or yellow-white-red, and you'll also get an answer to the question why your neighbours also suddenly start trudging around fully dressed in their smocks on 11 November.%26nbsp;

Short history of carnival in 's-Hertogenbosch

Carnival was celebrated as early as the Middle Ages, not always to the same extent. But that it was celebrated is a fact. But at the end of the 19th century, things got really crazy; the wealthy bourgeoisie was done with it. There were far too many excesses in the city during Carnival. And all those important citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch were being made fun of by the rabble. Indecent! The Bossche municipality does not comply with the request to ban carnival, but when suddenly the bishop also interferes, the carnival is still in danger. Measures must be taken to allow the celebration to go ahead anyway. A number of locals from Bosschen meet at café Plaats Roijaal and form a club; The Oeteldonksche Club van 1882. They devise a game to ensure that interference with the carnival decreases and the people of Bosschen can keep the party going.

The game is as follows; for three days the city is renamed a village, the village of Oeteldonk. And during those three days a year, only Boers and Durskes live in this village and everyone is equal. Of course, there must be someone at the head of this village; this becomes the Burgervaojer, Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel tot den Bobberd, and he is then inaugurated in 1882 in a big way.

A year later, in 1883, the Oeteldonkers added a new tradition to the game; the prince came to visit the village. A procession of floats accompany Prince Amadeiro, his adjutant and bodyguards who set foot in the village at 11am on Sunday morning.

In 1922, Knillis gets a spot on the Market Square for the first time. He is, of course, unveiled by the prince. Knillis is the alleged founder of the village of Oeteldonk and he with this statue the Oeteldonkers show honour to their ancestor.

In 1958, Oeteldonk did not escape it either; there was a song festival; the Kwèkfestijn. Every year, the clubs present their Oeteldonk carnival song for that year. A real professional jury chooses the winner. Unfortunately, due to a lack of money, the Kwèkfestijn could not take place in 1970, but fortunately, music was released that year; Gij bent mn botterbloem is still popular in Oeteldonk and is often played.

In 1962 the Oeteldonkers presented the first annual emblem, this emblem was attached to the farmer's skirts, and from 1964 a new emblem was presented every year. Take a good look around you during carnival, real Oeteldonkers walk around with lots of year emblems.

Hendrien is the housekeeper of the Burgervaojer, and Hendrien is very busy, there is so much work to do in the official residence and she has to do it all by herself anyway. But let her have a spare day in the schikkel years; there is nothing to do in the residence that day. So in 1976, for the first time, she goes on a day's lugging, and everyone is allowed to know about it. And to this day she is present during the crescent years during carnival, accompanying Knillis on his pedestal.

2003, Oeteldonk exists 121 years, which is 11x11 so that's big celebration. The song Ooit is written and released, the tearjerker of carnival %26nbsp;

The carnival now

Carnival now is not that much different from the Carnival of old. Oeteldonk is still a village of Peasants and Durskes. And everyone is still equal, there are no ranks and positions to consider.
The Burgervaojer of Oeteldonk still receives the prince every Sunday at 11 past 11 at Oeteldonk Centroal. The prince and his entourage, after protocol obligations, make a nice trip to the Town Hall. No floats as before, but free participation for anyone with a nice idea and cheers from all the Oeteldonkers along the side. After the mayor of 's-Hertogenbosch hands over his chain of office, the prince will unveil farmer Knillis on his pedestal and the party really gets going.

On Carnival Monday, the Grand Parade is scheduled. A big parade of floats, musiekskes, walking groups and other participants. If you are smart, you have already taken a look at the Construction Hall three weeks before carnival. Here you can have a look at the floats and the builders can tell you all about their ideas for the floats and how to build them.

On Tuesday there is the Keinderoptocht, did you know that the little Oeteldonkers also have their own prince? This one is collected on Saturday.

Symbols of the Oeteldonk Carnival

Carnival in 's-Hertogenbosch, as you have read, has its own unique celebration. And with that comes symbols.

So there is the Oeteldonk tricolour; red white yellow. The colours white and yellow come from the Catholic Church, the colours red and white come from the Brabant Flag. You see the tricolour everywhere in town; the flags hang on the facades, in the pubs everything is red white yellow and at the market you get your bunch of tulips in the Oeteldonk tricolour. %26nbsp;

Because we are all equal, and the men are all peasants, they originally wear a blue smock. To this, the red-white-and-yellow scarf, black cap, white mittens and a red handkerchief. You don't see the peasant smock, cap, mittens and handkerchief much anymore. These days, most men and women opt for a black jacket instead of the smock. The scarf everyone wears, big or small.

And then about the green frog, everyone has a frog with them; on the shoulder and in the emblems on the jacket or peasant smock. The Oeteldonkse Club gives the following explanation on its website: An Oetel is not a Frog and a Frog is not an Oetel. Do you still get it... Just take the frogs with you.
I have already written about farmer Knillis, Carnival is not complete without Knillis on his pedestal, and on Carnival Tuesday he is buried at 11.55 p.m., a reason for many an Oeteldonker to shed a small tear.

11-11 or the eleventh of the eleventh

And then that one day in November, the real Oeteldonkers take a day off and, wearing their scarves, go on a rampage. Carnival hasn't started yet, has it? Yet it has; 11 November is the start of the carnival season and they celebrate it from 11.11 am on the Parade with the official opening. On 11-11-2011 it was of course a magical date, a big celebration was organised in 's-Hertogenbosch for the first time. And despite it being a young tradition, the people of 's-Hertogenbosch attended en masse. Around this date, Het Kwèkfestijn is also organised and the carnival song for upcoming carnival is chosen.

Buying property in 's-Hertogenbosch or Oeteldonk?

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