On the 16th of June the Dutch eat raw Herring again

Traditionally, a grand celebration is held around the arrival of the New Herring in the Netherlands. In the harbour of Scheveningen, part of the city of The Hague, about 200,000 people celebrate the arrival of the New Herring and eat it raw from that day on. Along the docks of the Scheveningen Harbours the celebrations consist of around 30 activities. Shanty choirs, traditional clothing, traditional crafts, Old Dutch children’s games, a naval review…. And off course Herring. All these activities are brought together in the event ‘Vlaggetjesdag’ (Flag day Scheveningen).

The event is ideal for visiting with the family. For all ages there is something to do or see, during this event. Are you interested in the history of Scheveningen or the fishing industry, do you enjoy the music of the Shanty choirs (seamen songs) or are you interested in fishing vessels of all kinds, small homemade markets or just a day at leisure. Flag day is the perfect day in the Netherlands to enjoy the Dutch hospitality. The event starts around 10.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m.

The origin of this Dutch Folklore event is found in the past when the herring luggers were dressed up with hundreds of flags in their rigging during the Holiday ‘Whitsun’, before they sailed out for New Herring. The whole village of Scheveningen would go to the harbours to look at the beautiful dressed up luggers.  This tradition is still intact, however the amount of visitors to the event has grown enormously during the years.

On the afternoon of the 15th of June the festivities in the harbours of Scheveningen start. Old Fishermen board two ships and experience what it was like again back in the days. Their wives waving them goodbye from the quay of the port. The ladies will enjoy an high tea afternoon ashore. Immediately after the ships are back in the harbour the largest Herring Party of the Netherlands followed by the Sing Along will take place. So, please join us already on the 15th, waving the old fishermen goodbye, eat new herring at the largest Herring Party an sing along with poppy musical tunes.

On the third day of Vlaggetjesdag, on the Sunday, around noon, the last event of the weekend will take place at the harbour. For the very first time…. gospel and a moment of reflection combined together and presented on the main stage on the Dr. Lelykade. It’s unique, for Scheveningen is originally a very religious and held back community and hopefully a start of a new tradition.

Vlaggetjesdag is part of the programme Seaside Celebrations: the 200th anniversary of the seaside resort of The Hague ~ Scheveningen. In 1818, Jacobus Pronk built the first bathhouse in Scheveningen. This year, the city is offering its residents and visitors a sea of festivities. The resort is in the spotlight and the entire city is celebrating with festivals, exhibitions and performances.

View the full programme at feestaanzee.nl.