Where can you find some strange events in the Netherlands? These are my top 3 traditional Dutch festivals involving orange hats, herring for breakfast and single men holding hands.
Great that you’re coming to the International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen. To get to Scheveningen is quite easy, but I would recommend you to prepare your trip as this popular festival expects tens of thousands of visitors. Here are some tips on how to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen.
Cycling to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen
Of course, as a bike fan I would suggest to come by bike. Your journey to the Scheveningen beach won’t be any longer than usual, you don’t depend on bus or tram schedules and you can easily leave the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen. Finding a parking spot for your bike can be difficult though, so even when you come by bike, come a bit earlier. If you’re looking for a bike parking check biesieklette. If you’re not from The Hague you can also rent a bike at Biesieklette. These are the rental locations:
- Grote Markt (Laan 9)
- Driehoekjes (Grote Halstraat 9)
- Spuiplein (onder het stadhuis)
- Anna van Buerenstraat (achter het Centraal Station)
- Zeeman Grote Markstraat
- Rabbijn Maarsenplein
- Du Nord Keizerstraatpark & bike in Fireworks Festival Scheveningen
Park & Bike
Coming by car is a real hassle and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. If you do want to come by car, check https://bksparking.nl/ for available parking spot in the area of the International Fireworks Festival. If you really want to take the car to Scheveningen beach I suggest to use this website . This is a special Park & Ride system as you book a parking spot in advance ánd can add public transport, taxi service or a rental bike . Do make sure that you reserve a bike at least one day in advance as this is quite a popular service.
Fireworks Festival Scheveningen: just a tramride away
The last option to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen is to come by tram. At the servicedesks in The Hague Centraal Station and Hollands Spoor they sell €4.00 event tickets which is valid for both ways. You can take tram 1 and 11 from and to railway station The Hague Hollands Spoor or tram 9 from The Hague Centraal railway station. Bus 21, 22 and 23 have several stops in The Hague city centre. Check for more information ( in Dutch) HTM or 9292.nl
General information on how to get to beach resort Scheveningen can be found on this website. The fireworks festival Scheveningen takes place on 10,11, 17 & 18 August 2018. More information on the festival itself can be found here
It wasn’t supposed to get all the attention, but somehow it did. A small café by the harbour became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Challenge. This is how it happened.
Celebration of the Dutch New Herring
The new herring catch of the season calls for a typical Dutch celebration. A typical Dutch celebration calls for a challenge by Verita’s Visit. So there we were, me and a bunch of international minded people, at the harbour of Scheveningen with just one mission: find out what Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen was all about and if it was more than Dutch new herring.
King William and Madonna at Vlaggetjesdag
The participants had no idea what to expect, there were question marks all over their faces when we met at the Scheveningen library. As there was some drizzle outside that was expected to turn into heavy rainfall, we headed inside for a short introduction. The given information could be used during the challenge. King William, Madonna, the painter Mesdag and of course the Dutch herring, also known as Hollandse Nieuwe all dropped by in this introduction.
the go with the flow festival challenge
Exactly at the moment the rain stopped, the participants, now divided in teams, were off to the first location in the Scheveningen harbour where they had to answer a question and complete a creative challenge. Now, finding your way in a local festival is quite a challenge by itself, so at first all teams were a bit lost. By the time they had done two or three challenges they got the hang of it. They somehow realized the best thing to do was to just go with the flow, dive into the festivities and have fun.
Enjoy the local atmosphere and get social with a local
The best thing on local festivals like Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen is the atmosphere, everyone is relaxed and it’s easy to make contact with locals or visitors. Just like in the Leidens Ontzet Treasure Hunt the participants of the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Challenge had to step out of their comfort zone and get social with a local.
Sharing Experiences during Herring & Corenwijn tasting
At the end of the Scheveningen Vlaggetjesdag challenge we all gathered at Restaurant de Dagvisser. In this small café by the harbour we tasted 4 exquisite herring dishes with 4 types of Corenwijn. All teams shared their experiences there. When I asked them why they all had chosen the song ‘Het kleine café aan de haven’ for one of the challenges they all responded in unison: “Because it was the shortest!”
Small cafe by the harbour of Scheveningen
Athough they were all enjoyed, it was not the Hollandse Nieuwe, the fishers’ boats, the stands demonstrating the local crafts or the men and women in traditional clothing, it was a small café by the harbour that became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Challenge edition 2016.
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