The skeleton of a mermaid floats down a river. A man rides a giant horn along the currents. A man desperately tries to put out the fire on his sinking boat. Though these images may feel as though they come out of a waking dream, they are all in fact floats in the Bosch Parade: the Netherlands’ annual bizarre, floating theater.
The Netherlands is a country connected by rivers, a fact the Bosch Parade celebrates and takes full advantage of. The celebration, which takes place mid-June, draws its name from 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, who created the compelling and confusing Garden of Earthly Delights. His alternately delightful and apocalyptic imagery would not look out of place at his namesake parade, floating down the river behind a group of Smurfs.
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