Party and music: Carnival parade takes over downtown Aalborg

by Nathalia Hentze Nielsen
Photo: Aalborg Carnival
Photo: Aalborg Carnival

Spring is on its way, even though the snow suggests otherwise.

With the arrival of spring also comes the tradition of Carrus Navalis, an annual event around the spring equinox.

It’s Aalborg Carnival, Samba School Poco Loco, and Dunkelfolket who, together, host the parade on Saturday, March 16th at 11:00.

Here, the party, colors, and music are turned up when the carnival parade Carrus Navalis rolls through downtown Aalborg.

The parade starts at Huset in Hasserisgade at 11:00, goes through Bispensgade to Gabels Torv, and continues along Algade before finally returning to Huset in Hasserisgade again.

Scaring away evil spirits

Samba School Poco Loco summons spring with drums and samba dancing, while a float is pulled through the streets.

Carrus Navalis means the chariot of the sea, and Dunkelfolket writes that the procession consists of the following symbolic elements:

  • Front: The flag bearer leads the way, displaying the beautiful banner/flag with the Carnival’s logo
  • Farewell: Dunkelfolket from Fosdalen and bellmen with twig brooms chase imaginary spirits, darkness, and winter away, sending shivers through the audience
  • Proclamation: The boat is pulled over land by several handsome sailors. From the boat, the Captain and his sailors hurl insults, telling the truth about landlubbers and quarterdeck sailors. The Cannon Guild is working on – again this year – giving spring a proper bang.
  • Ritual sowing: In spring, the seeds are sown for the life that will sprout from the earth, mind, and body. The earth and the city streets are plowed by the medieval plow, pulled by a team of oxen.
  • The plowman guides the plow and, if necessary, urges his oxen forward with a whip. The sower follows behind, spreading the seeds of imagination and life over streets and alleys. However, nothing grows without the sun. Therefore, they also honor the sun, which many peoples throughout history have both worshiped and sacrificed to. The magnificent replica of the Sun Chariot is carried with dignity in the parade.

The parade is an ancient pagan tradition, aiming to welcome spring and scare away evil spirits.

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