November Light Festival Utrecht

It's a tradition of my own. When heavy grey clouds make autumn days gloomy I turn to the magic of light. Christmas lights in Holland city centres are little crisps, they make me feel at home. But, what really ignites the fire within me are the different light festivals. The November Light Festival Utrecht is like entering a feelgood fairytale.


(updated 2 November 2019)

During the November Light Festival Utrecht the city celebrates its patron saint Sint Maarten, in English known as Saint Martin.  The celebration of previous years was a big success, which is why  the city organises different activities for the entire family again this year. All week long.


I was completely enchanted. A giant lantern in the shape of Saint Martin himself led a long lantern parade. Children, their parents and members of different organisations followed with unique lanterns in all sizes and shapes. They didn't just walked through the streets: they sang, danced and their enthusiasm was so contagious that many joined the festivities. By seeing, hearing and living this November Light Festival Utrecht my inner happiness manifested in an all giving radiant smile. All of Saint Martin's friends and fans united in the small courtyard of the St Catharijne convent. Here  they sang songs about being together, being merciful and sharing with those in need, the exact same virtues connected with Saint Martin. In 2019 this light parade takes place on Saturday evening 9 November.

The November Light Festival Utrecht or Saint Martin's celebrations takes place from 3 till 11 November 2019

More information on all activities can be found on






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Making of Hague Peace Challenge: Global Goals

They are the centre of attention in this year's International Day of Peace. From the start  of the World Peace Day in 1982 the UN picks a theme. This year the focus is on the 17 sustanainable development goals, also known as global goals. All around the world organisations organise events around this theme. I just had one basic question: How do I implement all these objectives in the Hague Peace Challenge?

Rap on Global Goals

When the UN launched the theme 'Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace' they were aware that the theme was not easy to remember. That's why they invited Flokabulary to make a 2 minute rap about all 17 global goals.

Ideas for global goals activities on Peace day

Now with The Hague Peace Challenge the 1 of the  global goals, number #16 was quite easy to apply in the City of Peace and Justice. But, what about the other 16 sustainable development goals. Could I use them as well? I turned to the organisers of the Peace Day.

Peace Day Philly, pointed me to their list of  fantastic events they organise in Philidelphia. Have a look at their website, they have a full page dedicated to small and bigger activities you can do or organise yourself on and around the UN International Day of Peace. And if you want to implement the sustainable development goals in your daily life, hang on, I'll give you the link to a good website in a moment.

Photo from:
Photo from:

How do global goals lead to peace?

The more I started thinking about it, the more difficult it became. How would these objectives lead to peace? Then I found the UN invitation to young people in the age of 15 and 24 from all around the world to submit a video on how these global goals can build peace. This is the channel where you can see all the vids created, but here's a sneak peek.


A few weeks ago I attended the Innovators for Peace public event. The event used the hashtag #innoSDG16. Moderator Ulrich Mans asked the panel the question:  How can innovation  help us achieve sustainable development goal #16?  Panel member Gijs Brouwer, who works for Un Global Pulse, answered that peace and justice, which is global goal #16, is best seen as a result of all the other objectives. If we are able to reduce poverty  (SDG #1) , hunger (SDG #2), we will  be one step closer to a safer and more peaceful world.

What can you do?

Now, you might think: how can I help achieve these global goals?

Well, the UN made a list of easy things you can do on a daily base....check this link.


. I want to know more about the The Hague Peace Challenge





Impressions Flower Parade Westland Day

The last years I've seen the floating Flower Parade Westland on Delfland day, the last day of this local festival in South Holland. It was like a tradition, you could find me near the Schaapwei mill in Rijswijk, near 't Haantje and later on near the Nieuwe Plantage in Delft.  This year I wanted to see the boats decorated with flowers, fruit and vegetables at the start. I chose the Westland day on Saturday for a special reason.

Picnic time at Flower Parade Westland
Picnic time at Flower Parade Westland

Flower Parade Westland, it is a Dutch celebration

What I like about the Dutch is the way they turn a local festival like the Flower Parade Westland into a full day family outing. Early morning they load their stuff on their bikes or in the trunk of the car and head to their perfect spot to see the flower and vegetable decorated boats pass by. They reach their destination far before the start of the parade and then settle. Take out their foldable chairs, their picnic material, put their children on a blanket with some toys, give their dog a bone and then they're set.

Colourful boat supporting sick children.
Colourful boat supporting sick children.

Now I've followed their example and the last years I've taken my picknick basket. Then I discovered that on Saturday, the Flower Parade Westland Day there were all sorts of small local markets in the Westland towns. So, I decided I would buy some Westland produced local fruit and vegetables on the way. After the first stop, Sonnehoeck, a historical grape grower I became more and more excited. Everywhere were these stalls where you could buy tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers.













With my basket loaded with all kind of yummie stuff I cycled to the start of the Flower Parade, the Trade Park Westland where the first decorated boats where already passing by.  A man saw my basket and a big smile came on his face. Turned out he had worked at a grape nursery in the Westland as a teenager and had a summer job in picking tomatoes. That was before he moved to the east of the country where he met his Chinese wife, who simply is delighted to see all the boats. He brings her to the Flower Parade Westland every year and while she is enjoying the decoration, memories flash through his mind. Love the way you can so easily get in contact with people during a local festival. And, at the Flower Parade Westland you'll find out a lot of the spectators have some kind of personal link to the festival.

Close up artistic creation Westland Flower Parade winner
Close up artistic creation Westland Flower Parade winner

I took my picknick basket and found a spot on top of a bridge, which offered quite a different perspective and from there took some pictures and some vids. The vids can be found on my Instagram account.

This boat even used flowers in the costumes!
This boat even used flowers in the costumes!
This decorated boat is my favourite. Love the mix of vegetables and flowers
This decorated boat is my favourite. Love the mix of vegetables and flowers


The Westland flower parade will place from 23 till 26 June 2022. We will go on a Flower parade by bike tour plus picnic.

Will you join us?

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Private tour Dutch greenhouse with family and friends

Holland greenhouse tomato facts

The Hague- From sea to greenhouse

Story and History of Flag Day Scheveningen

Scheveningen logo herring-veritasvisitMy first visit to Flag Day Scheveningen  was out of curiousity. I heard that the whole festival around herring, and more precisely the new herring. But, if it was all about the herring, why wasn’t  it called Herring Day or Herring Festival? I decided it was time to unravel the mystery and look for the story and history of Flag Day Scheveningen...

Read more

Remembrance Day Bevrijdingsdag HerdenkingDen Haag

Peaceful place in The Hague to remember- Waalsdorpervlakte

Remembrance Day Bevrijdingsdag HerdenkingDen Haag

At Peace in a Quiet Place in the Netherlands

It's May holiday. Today I just want to get away from the city a bit, visit nature and enjoy the silence there. There's a special reason I'm looking for a quiet place in Holland today...

it's Remembrance Day. Throughout the Netherlands memorial services and silent marches take place to commemorate those who gave their lives for our freedom during WWII, but also in wars and peacekeeping missions after 1945.

Haag natuur vrede tocht Hague nature cycling guide Verita's Visit Holland

Freedom to enjoy nature

On this day, the 4th of May,  I take my bike and cycle to the Waalsdorpervlakte, to just sit in the sand with nothing around me but birds and trees. This is the most peaceful place in The Hague for me. I lay down and look up into the clouded sky and I realise how fortunate I am to have the liberty to just be here and enjoy the Dutch nature. Freedom seems such a common thing, untill you stop for a moment to think about what you have.

Quiet place Hague-veritasvisit

Nature around The Hague

Waalsdorpervlakte is a beautiful natural area, near the Nordsea coastline & the dunes. It's  a peaceful place in The Hague. It's also an important historical marker: many Dutch resistance fighters were executed here. It is one of the mayor locations in Holland where a memorial service is held. A big bell will ring. Except for this year, 2021. A small ceremony without public attendance will happen. The Dutch people are requested to stay at home and watch the ceremony online.

Two minutes of silence

When the clock strikes 8, the Netherland observes two minutes of silence, to remember and honour those who died for our freedom.


Visit the  website of the tourist office The Hague for more information on the memorial service at Waalsdorpervlakte.

This is a list of all memorial services in The Hague in 2019 (in Dutch)


For more information on the Dutch Rememberance Day and Liberation Day on the 5th of May, go to

These websites are in Dutch. If you are interested in a specific activity, do let me know, I do my best to find more information.

If you would like to visit Waalsdorpervlakte and surroundings with Verita's Visit, contact me for a personalised tour.