HULST, ZEELAND – blown a little off course

Windkracht (Wind Force) do their thing.

I steered a few kilometres off the official Pieperpad cycle route, because I’d heard Hulst was a lovely quiet little village.

It was once an important fort, so it’s surrounded by a wall and a moat, with a huge cathedral and more than its fair share of attractive old buildings.

Somehow a small but noisy army had made it across the drawbridge.

It was Hulster Dweildag, which I think translates as ‘Hulst Mop the Floor Day’. I don’t know what that has to do with brass bands; maybe someone can explain it to me.

It didn’t seem to be an organised competition, though the standard of playing was high and at one stage things were in danger of getting heated when two opposing bands both started playing the same tune at the same time – with an unfortunate two-bar lag between them. The tune was Love is in the Air.

I did a little internet checking after the event. It is a competition of sorts, and the prize is a keg of beer.

All great fun!

Hulst normally attracts tourists with history and olde worlde charm...

..but today the idea is to make as much noise as possible.

There's some serious playing.

...and some serious drinking.

A lot of thought has gone into the costumes...

...and the routines...

...and when the day draws to a close, everyone needs a sit-down.


Filed under Holland

9 responses to “HULST, ZEELAND – blown a little off course

  1. A dweilorkest – or mop band, Richard, is usually a brass and percussion band. Dweilen is what we Brabanders call “roaming the streets aimlessly or drunk”. We do that a lot (not me, I’m straight edge) in Brabant, particularly when it’s Carnaval. Dweilen, from bar to bar, just works better if you have some solid musical encouragement. 🙂

    • Ah, thanks for the explanation, Mina!

      Nobody seemed to have any dweils (mops) with them, so I guessed it must have a witty metaphorical meaning. It was another great event anyway.

      • You’d be surprised how more literal than metaphorical it is. The roaming is more a schlepping movement and whilst schlepping yourself from bar to bar you – involuntarily – mop the streets. Or that is at least what your clothes tell you the next day… 🙂

      • Also there’d be some literal dweiling needed the day after the event, I imagine.

  2. Laurens Hoogenboom

    You can also be drunk as a “dweil”.

  3. Hoi Richard,
    Dweilen has two meanings. Like you say to mop (cleaning something), but also with music (brassbands )going from bar to bar and making meanwhile music.
    And that was in this case.

    Toine Mens

  4. Seb

    Hulst is a city, not a village 😉

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