Once a year in the Netherlands, for a few days in February, the usually serene town of Maastricht undergoes an extreme transformation. Strobe lights line every main square and confetti almost completely hides the elegant cobble stone streets. High-scale restaurants become bustling, crowded bars. Club music can be heard from all corners of the town. Usually quiet streets are packed with stumbling people in neon wigs and outlandish costumes.
Carnival, which is celebrated across the world, is a festival that occurs before the beginning of Catholic lent. Originally intended to be a feast preceding food shortages, it is now all about breaking social norms, reversing roles and indulgence. People of all ages and groups come out for the carnival celebrations.