Festivals in The Hague
There is a wide range of festivals and events to look out for throughout the year in The Hague. Here are some of the more popular ones:
- New Year’s Day (January 1): marked in The Hague by a quick dash into the North Sea at mid-day. Known as nieuwjaarsduik.
- Winternachten Literary festival (January): showcasing writers from all over the world, held at the Filmhuis.
- Dance Festival (January / February): The national dance festival features plenty of live performance all over the city.
- Chinese New Year (January / February): Worth visiting Chinatown for this, where you will see traditional lion and dragon dances, performers and artists and an Asian market.
- Movies That Matter Festival (March): A series of movies are screened at the Filmhuis, dedicated to exploring human rights issues.
- City-Pier-City Run (March): A half-marathon that takes place every year.
- Music Festival (March): This three-day Hague-based festival features new talent as well as old names.
- International Sand Sculpture Festival (April): Visit Scheveningen to see absolutely stunning creations sculpted out of sand.
- International Pillow Fight Day (April): A festival that takes place all over the world during the first week of April. Grote Markt is usually the venue in The Hague.
- King’s Night (29 April): A colourful explosion of street parties and festivals in honour of the reigning monarch.
- Bevrijdingsfestival (May): A summer music festival.
- Tong Tong Festival (Late May or early June): This Indonesian cultural festival takes place just across from Centraal Station, in the Malieveld. Sample Indonesian cuisine and watch cultural performances. Entrance is around €10 during the week and €13 at weekends.
- Vlaggetjesdag (early June): Flag Day, as it is known in English, is the celebration of the arrival of the first herring (‘Hollandse Nieuwe’) in The Hague. Hundreds of thousands of people gather in Scheveningen for the festivities, and the fishing boats are decorated especially for the occasion. The first barrel of herring is traditionally sold at an auction on the Thursday preceding the official Vlaggetjesdag and the proceeds go to charity.
- The Hague Sculpture (early June to early September): A sculpture festival that showcases a new country or theme each year. Location varies each year.
- Klassique (mid-June): A festival spanning several days dedicated to classical music. Performances are centred on the Plein, just next to the Binnenhof.
- Parkpop (Last Sunday in June): A hugely popular free summer festival held in Zuiderpark.
- Jazz in de Gracht (August): Free jazz performances are staged throughout the city. Simply grab a drink by the side of the canal, sit and watch.
- International Fireworks Festival (third week of August): Every year, fireworks producers from several different countries turn up at the pier in Scheveningen to compete for the Scheveningen Fireworks Trophy.
- Prinsjesdag (September): The State Opening of Parliament, when the ruling monarch arrives in ceremonial golden carriage. You will have a good chance to see the carriage in various locations around the city.
- Haags UIT (September): An end-of-summer music festival.
- Scheveningen Kite Festival (September): Visitors can see hundreds of kites of all shapes and sizes soaring over Scheveningen beach.
- Shoot Me Film Festival (October): A film festival in The Hague that promotes independent film-making.
- De Betovering (October): Translated in English as The Enchantment, this international children’s art festival takes place during the Autumn school break. Hundreds of performances and workshops take place around the city.
- Arrival of Sinterklaas (November) Huge throngs turn out in Scheveningen to see Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) arrive by steamboat.
- Sinterklaas (5 December): Saint Nicholas Day, known as Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, is one of the most important days of the year.
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