Tilburg Travel Blog› entry 6 of 15 › view all entries
The 'Tilburgse Kermis' is an annual accumulation of several traveling funfairs gathering at the city centre around mid July. The 'Kermis' (funfair) is an ancient tradition in Holland, going back to Roman times. In those days fairs were holidays on which there was an intermission of labour. They were often held at a significant event, such as the anniversary of a local historical event, a seasonal event such as harvest time, or with a holiday such as Christmas.
In later centuries, on any special Christian religious occasion, tradesmen would come to sell their wares. Such fairs then continued annually, usually on the feast day of the patron saint to whom the town's church was dedicated. On this day people from the entire region surrounding the town would come to the centre to honour the patron saint and to amuse themselves.
Through the ages, a fair developed into a commercial industry. The first fairground rides began to appear in the 18th century, these were small and made out of wood. Today, a fair contains a mixture of attractions which can be divided into the categories of adult or thrill rides, children's rides, sideshows and side stalls. Most side stalls only offer food or games.
The Tilburgse Kermis is the biggest funfair in The Netherlands and one of the biggest in northern Europe. The rides and side stalls may vary every year, but one side show has been around for many years and has gotten a legendary status. This is the 'Beer Hall', an enormous tent holding hundreds of people, while on a stage several singers perform cheery songs in the Dutch language.
The Tilburgse Kermis lasts for ten days, starting on a Friday and ending with fireworks on a Sunday night. Every day has a certain theme, for instance, Thursday afternoon is for groups of mentally handicapped and the second Friday during the day is especially for the elderly. Most famous is the Monday though, which has become known as 'Pink Monday'. This day (and especially night) is for gay and not gay people to dress up in pink and have a huge party together.
My friends and I enjoy the Kermis every year, we always go on the second Saturday evening. First we cross the entire fairground, stopping for drinks and to enjoy some rides. Then we end up in the Beer Hall, which is always a huge blast. When the Kermis closes around one o'clock at night, we continue to party at Polly Magoo's until that place closes around four.
If anyone would like to join up: youâ��re more than welcome! Just send me a message to let me know.