Festivals have always been of great importance in human life. The author tries to come to a better understanding of this phenomenon by using psychoanalytic concepts. As an example of festivals a description is given of Carnival in the South-Netherlands. When participating in a festival changes in psychic functioning are taking place. These changes are described from a structural, dynamic and economic point of view. The author concludes that the oedipus-complex might be seen as the core of the question why festivals are playing such an important role in human life.