Meet Scrooge in Deventer

DSC_0499_01.JPG It is winter. Snowflakes fall gently on the cold coble stones of the contorted, small streets that are surrounded by half-timbered houses. People flit through the streets wrapped up in warm winter coats. A small girl tries to protect herself from the cold wind by covering herself in rags and thin blankets. She asks for some money or at least a hot chocolate. It starts to get darker and candle light appears from the windows of the houses. A tall, thin man walks in the middle of the road. He is in a hurry. His back is slightly stooped over and he has a grim look on his face. As he passes the girl, he does not even take a look at her. The whole city knows his name: Ebenezer Scrooge.
From behind, you can hear the quiet clicking of a camera and joyful laughter. Tourists just made a picture of Scrooge passing-by the poor girl. Children giggle as soon as they spot the famous villain. The whole scene happens in the Dutch town of Deventer. Every year in mid-December, the city hosts the Charles Dickens Festival. Inhabitants of Deventer dress up like in the 19th century and imitate everyday life as well as re-enact scenes from the books of Charles Dickens.

DSC_0505.JPG It feels like the medieval town was only built for this one weekend in December. Small backstreets, old houses and Christmas decorations help to easily dive into the world of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. Meanwhile, the actors are completely in their roles. It happens that while waiting in a queue for hot wine, a poor family will jump in and begs the merchant for some hot chocolate for their thirsty children. Of course suffragettes will try to convince you to agree on their voting rights opinion and the village idiot will try to cheer you up once in a while.

DSC_0472.JPG On different places of the town, improvisional circusses and Christmas choirs stop to entertain the crowd around. If you look closely, you will spot the old lady from Great Expectations sitting in a shop and waiting for her big love to return. A gang of little thieves lead by Oliver Twist runs through the streets hunting a flock of sheep. Suddendly, you hear a loud, deep voice calling out for Scrooge and you might spot the ghost of the future on the roof of a house - while Scrooge himself tries to hide in the ā€˛Smuggler's Inn" nearby.

DSC_0429.JPG In the meantime you stroll through the streets of the town and get immediately caught by the atmosphere. You observe the actors and reactions of the visitors, while you start to feel how everyday life must have been in the 19th century and a Christmas spirit sparks in your heart - all of that in the middle of the Netherlands. Such Festivals and Events are experiences that you will never forget and shouldn't miss. Locanto offers hints for events so you will always know the festivals happening in your region. More about the Charles Dickens Festival can be found here.

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