Carnival in Aalst, Belgium

1 minutes to read

Once a year from Sunday till Tuesday (the days before Ash Wednesday) I go visit my family in Aalst to celebrate Carnival in the streets. The people of Aalst (and others Belgians) dress up, drink beer and go watch the parade, filled with beautiful carts and dancers. Children can throw confetti at the carts the entire day (it was literally the only thing I did at carnival when I was a child) and their parents can enjoy finding confetti everywhere in the house for the next week (ok maybe for the next year :) ).

The parade

On Sunday the parade starts their route throughout the city according to the number they have been given beforehand. On Monday the parade is not as strict as the day before and the numbers can be changed. In the evening the best groups can win a prize. On the last day, Tuesday, they have the "Voil Jeanetten Stoet", which consists of guys dressed as women walking throughout the city.

Dear Prince Carnival

The Carnival also has a prince, whom is elected yearly. If you have already been prince three times you can also become the Carnival Emperor for a year. Since 1923 (the year they started counting the parades) there have only been two Emperors. To become Carnival prince you need to live in Aalst and be at least 18 years old.

Even though most of the jokes are written in Dutch, and are mostly about events that happened in the Belgian media, you can just enjoy the amazing hand made carts together with the dancers. Some carts still amaze me, since they are made by volunteers. You can watch the movie below to get a glimpse of this yearly parade.

Carnival Aalst, Belgium
Carnival Aalst, Belgium
Aalst, Belgium

The author

Eline Melis

Eline Melis

I am Eline, from Belgium, and doing my internship at itinari. I have always been curious about other cultures and, for other curious ones, I want to show the places I know best!

Stories you might also like