The main parade is not until Sunday, but the festivities really get going on Friday ight when work closes down and the bars open up for the long weekend. At 5 pm, I was still beavering away in my working garret: friends were leaving notes that they were heading on without me. I pressed through hurried phone calls back t0 the US: a budget, a clinical trial approval, a note to my Dutch administrator about the Taal-toets scheduled for next week. Dusk fell, the music rose, and I fled the workroom.
There were bands outside the Pothuiske and crowds inside; everywhere music, color, laughter, beer. The costumes aren’t really out in force until Sunday (when more snow is predicted), but there were already a few souls showing their creativity to set the mood.
This really is one of my favorite celebrations in Maastricht: the midwinter timing is a perfect antidote to February blues and work overloads. It’s well worth a trip down if the weekend permits.