Saturday we rented a car and drove an hour and a half south to Eindhoven for Carnival. Traditionally, Carnival is a religious holiday celebrating the week before lent. Most Carnival festivities in Holland are held in the south and some small northern villages with more predominant Catholic influence. Today, Carnival is more of a week long street party than a religious affair. Saturday’s festivities kicked off with an incredible parade. The town guilds, sports teams, and businesses put extensive effort into designing impressive floats. Each float had a different theme along with a routine every 100 feet. One Russian inspired float included a rocket, russian dolls, dancing ladies, and men that were running around pretending to be drunk on vodka (not kidding). It’s also a tradition to bring out your costumes. The more bizarre, involved, elaborate, silly – the better you are at Carnival. We were out of place in nothing but our winter jackets. I received disappointed looks from a band of smurfs, wolfmen, pirates, SWAT team, Lance Armstrong, and the super Mario brothers.