It is Carnaval time again in the Netherlands this weekend. Here in Amsterdam (Nord-Holland) Carnaval is not celebrated but it is in our second home, Ijsselstein. Despite being on the wrong side of the Rhine Ijsselstein celebrates Carnaval with the best of them, with businesses closing and drunken revelry being the order of the day.

What I didn’t know (despite having survived one weekend’s carnaval in Ijsselstein) is that the strange story of Kees the monkey lives on in the Carnaval tradition. For the duration of Carnaval Ijsselstein becomes “apenstad”, and the large ape-ish mascot hidden on an empty field behind one of the primary schools takes centre-stage amidst some dedicated apeluiers.

Now how did I miss that!

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