The carnival play in Oeteldonk (starting 1881)
In 1881 in café 'Plaats Roijaal', then located in the street behind the Town Hall a group of wealthy merchants came together and forge a plan to create a play which everyone should be able to participate. The goal was the preservation of the party by ennoblement the entertainment. They devise the formula of the still existing play is called "Oeteldonk".
The city of 's-Hertogenbosch in Holland, especially these days, is/was a 'large' cosmopolitan city. The Provincial Government with its officials, the Bishop with his prelates and the Court with officials, lawyers and judges were housed here.
The city is, according to the medieval formula of the feast of 'the world upside down' for three days renamed the village named 'Oeteldonk'. Every inhabitant of the city is considered to act therein as boer (farmer) or durske (the farmers wife). It makes it convenient use of longstanding carnival tradition of wearing farmers smocks. Of course the village also provides one of notables and places it at the head of this fictional village 'burgervaojer' (mayer) named 'Peer van den MuggenHeuvel', with one or more councilors of "judges" and 'geminteraod' (councillors). Only one policeman, named 'Driek Pakaon' is sufficient. It is his job to, such as the programs indicate the 'vrollie' (womenfolk) of the chaise (carriage) of the mayer. All this, of course, in the style of carnival, intended as a parody of the existing society. It also fit the parodied council meetings called 'Oeteldonkse Geminteraod' of the time in which the local politics was firmly denounced.
On February 20 1882 the "newly-appointed mayor arrives for the first time in his "rural municipality Oeteldonk. On October of the same year the establish the "Oeteldonksche Club" in order to support the initiative with an official organization. The next year a new element is added to the play: the visit of 'His Royal Highness Prince Amadeiro Ricosto di Carnavallo, Knight of the Reksam, Lord and Master of Oeteldonk and for their surrounding anhydrous marshes and sand deserts etc. etc. etc'.
His arrival means the carnivalesque reason for the three-day village festival. On Carnival Monday the village gives, to His honor, a big parade with floats and walking groups. For the 'Oeteldonksche Club' the parade is THE opportunity to create a decent carnival finishing: it keeps the people out of the pub for several hours and also allowed the performances to see how a decent way the festival can be celebrated. Through the speeches, respectively, by the mayor and HRH pronounced, the Bossche society benign ridiculed on a carnivalesque way.
Slowly the Oeteldonkse Club succeeds in its design: the excesses disappear. Despite loud protests of some people the Club receives her first subsidy from the local authority in 1892.
Because of the success of the Oeteldonkse club, rural communities 'Vughterdijk' and the 'Hinthamereinde' create there own 'Oeteldonk'. These Clubs were called the "Polder" (1909) and "Dommel" (1911). The play here is completed with notables such as the carnivals mayor, counsel and policeman as well . The didn't have a Prince. The Prince Oeteldonkse Amadeiro remains staying above the parties. After the First World War, these carnival villages already disappeared but remain in club form.
The opposition on the successful Oeteldonksche Club is not broken yet. Again and again some prominent and powerful people do not like the 'Oeteldonk play'. After WW1 in 1917 the play is abolished by the Councillor Thijssen. The whole city is in an uproar, Pierrot writes his last will. The 'Oeteldonkers' (people from Oeteldonk) through pamphlets asking the locals to appear on Carnival Sunday 1919 at the Parade (square at the cathedral) "with a hat and tie." Many answered this hearing and the gatherings were forbidden even to be mounted constabulary dispersed. It is the occasion for a renewed debate in the official City Council and a reversal of the removal, however with the restriction that no more masks may be worn.
There is a A second ban, no sale and use of liquor in the cafes, the following year already reviewed. The people namely evade the prohibition by buying all the liquors before carnival and start drinking in the streets!
In 1920 there will be a full program with Oeteldonks carnival Prince, mayor and parade. When in 1922 the 40th anniversary is celebrated even one adds new elements added as the unveiling of the statue for "Boer Knillis" (farmer Knillis), the alleged founder of 'Oeteldonk'. Also the royal cavelry of Amadeiro's 'de Biezenpèrdjes' are added for the first time. Both royal cavalery are still part of the Oeteldonks carnival.
In 1928 carnival mayor 'Peer vaan den Muggenhevel' speech to the AVRO radio and invites the Dutch to 'Oeteldonks'. Therefore the national press became interested. The large influx of many non-Oeteldonk people, utterly ignorant of the phenomenon carnival, makes it possible to excesses as usual in the beginning. The national press speaks her shame. Thus alarmed demands the council of 's-Hertogenbosch measures to town this disgrace to purify. These measures came in the form of bans on public music and parades. It was hoped and expected that the carnival would come automatically disappear. But this attack survives the 'Oeteldonk' carnival.
In 1929, it is more quiet but Oeteldonks carnival did not disappear. The arrival of the Prince is in these years, although with music and the Speeches. It is waiting for a more favorable times.
During the 750th anniversary of the city 's-Hertogenbosch in 1935 the official mayor thinks it's time for a restoration of the glorious parades. The Oeteldonksche Club in his opinion, blamed for the troubles in 1928 are not allowed to organise the parade. By him in life called "Bosch Jheroen Society" which takes over the organization. The committee members are personally requested by the mayor. However, the club supply parts such as the 'Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel' in a carriage, the biezenpèrdjes and a float with Prince Amadeiro. The character of the parede is more moralizing than jokingly.
New start of Oeteldonk
During the Second World War the public is not allowed organize the carnival festivities and find only in the domestic circle. Once the war is over the club Oeteldonksche starts again 'Prince Amadeiro is back on the steps of the railway-station. On Carnival Monday also a parade is organized. Surreptitiously the 'Oeteldonksche Club' is retaking the organization of 'Oeteldonk'. The local tourist office gives the advice not to come to the the city. It would be too busy??
Meanwhile the Oeteldonk carnival is official now, because the civil government is receiving HRH Prins Amadeiro at town house (1952).
New elements such as the "Keinderoptocht" (children-parade) in 1957 and the carnival songs festival "Kwèkfestijn" in 1959 are added. More events for the youth and even its own Youth Prince with complete result in 1960. The number of carnival clubs with there brass-bands grow from 10 to ca.150. The spirit of the sixties influenced Oeteldonk. The seclusion and the elitist nature of the 'Oeteldonksche Club' is questioned. That leads to a new structure in a foundation form in 1971 with a four-year election system of the 'Boerenparrelement' (farmers – parliament). So the people of Oeteldonk ensures more influence on what the carnival government, the Council of Ministers, evidence and realizes. Just before that time the carnival clubs are already united in a 'Federation of Carnival Associations'. That should ensure a good participation in the 'Oeteldonksche Club' and enhanced cooperation among themselves. The relationships between the 'Oeteldonksche Club' one hand and the Federation improves especially in the last decade. Creating one big organization, an old desire of the 'Oeteldonksche Club' is topical than. Sins 2006 ther eis one organization.
Everything goes on, nothing stays, as we say. So the carnival. The typical "peasant smocks" seems to disappear. The carnival celebrating crowd is growing especially during the day. The number of occasions where only carnival music is played in the evenings gets smaller. Youth takes in the evening, although dressed, holding the bars on them where concerted music is played. Despite this development the unique 'Oeteldonk' play consist.
The organization is constantly on the move, looking for the best opportunities to involved in the biggest festival of 's-Hertogenbosch. This is indicated by the growing interest in active participation and the many new activities during the last decades sprung from the irrepressible creativity Oeteldonker: façade decorating contest for homes cafés shops, the 'Vruugkwekkerskonzert' (early bird concert, and that not easy ;-), the handover of 'chain of office' to the carnival mayor, new clearer costumes for the protocol, the entry of the Youth Prince, a private 'Oeteldonks Gemintemuzejum' (a carnival museum), private construction hall where 24 cars at a time can be built, girls in the protocol, the 'poemiek' where people do a declamation of Oeteldonk songs, etc. etc.
The Oeteldonk colors are red, white and yellow. Every Farmer from Oeteldonk is wearing something with these colours. Nobody knows where these colours came from. some think the yellow/white combination is coming from the Roman Catholic church, and the red from the Oeteldonk protests as mentioned before.
The colours, although in a different order, can be seen in a picture of Pieter Breughel 'de strijd tussen carnaval en de vasten' by Pieter Breughel the Elder (1530-1569). you can google it.
(translated from Dutch text from Rob van der Laar)
There is much more to be explained, but this is it for now.
city counsel, Geminteraod
Mayor: Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel
Police officer: Driek Pakaon
- Pack created on: Dec. 11, 2012, 1:17 p.m.
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