The Maties Jool is a weeklong annual event taking place in Stellenbosch, when the students take over the streets.
The event is in part an introductory period for new students, but more importantly a massive community project to collect money for charitable purposes.
The tradition of a street parade with floats by students of Stellenbosch University apparently began in 1953, and was initially called a Jool, Maties Jool or US Jool (Jool = "Rag"). This practice was discontinued for a while between 1959 and 1964. In 1965 it was resumed, but now called the US Karnaval or ("US carnival") for a while, but later the name Maties Jool was resurrected , eventually becoming the bilingual Maties Jool/Rag. The weeklong event is also referred to as Connect in some documents.
Besides a a number of smaller events and the street parade with floats, the event also includes the popular Vensters ("Windows") competition, which is a rather interesting event preceding the parade, where the University residences decorate the windows of the buildings, and - using the decorated façade as décor - put on a theme-based performance with the new students, on the grounds in front of the residence, where sets and seating facitlities are erected. The main road through the campus is closed for the evening and the public can wander through to view the various "stages" and "performances". The best performance is judged by a panel of students and staff.
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