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From Buisjesdag to Vlaggetjesdag: Herring festivals in Holland

When it comes to herring festivals in Holland Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen, in English known as Flag Day, is the first one that comes to mind. On Facebook I posed the facts & fiction question:

Vlaggetjesdag is only celebrated in the sea side resort Scheveningen

In the last fact & fiction you could read that the Vlaggetjesdag was held on Pentecost, preferably the Monday. Most probably our national herring day dates back  many centuries, but  it was mentioned for the first time in 1787 in a local newspaper referring to Buisjesdag in Vlaardingen.

Buisjesdag  in Vlaardingen was the precursor of Vlaggetjesdag.  A buis was the type of ship used for fishing in the 18th century. Fishers’wives & their children would pray in the Grote Kerk Vlaardingen for a safe return of the men & a good herring catch. Afterwards women and children stood on the shore waving their husbands and fathers goodbye while the the buizen  sailed off.

In the early days, Vlaardingen was the centre of the herring fishing and the start of many of the traditions you can now still see on Vlaggetjesdag. I will explain why Vlaardingen was thé port for herring in the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour.

The name of Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen first appeared in the media in 1947. But, it was just one of the many herring festivals in Holland. Other ports at the North Sea coastline such as IJmuiden and Katwijk had their own Flag days.  Vlaggetjesdag took over the concept of Buisjesdag, but was celebrated on a different day. Plus, although many traditions have  its intention changed.

Nowadays, many herring festivals in Holland have changed their focus. IJmuiden celebrates the fishing industry with the Havenfestival  and the fishers’town of Urk, Flevoland organises the Visserijdagen


The Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour is an interactive way to get connected with locals, meet new people, experience a typical Dutch celebration, hear the  facts about Scheveningen port & its history, taste herring ( or any oher Scheveningen speciality), see  the port in a different way ( which will never be the same after this tour 😉 ). Want to join us? Read more and sign up here  Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour 




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