Flag Day 2014Other / The Hague
14 June 2014, 10am - 6pm (approx)
Each year in early June, the first catch of the Hollandse Niewue (Dutch New) herring is celebrated when the ships race to port to auction off the first barrel for a charitable cause during Flag Day (Vlaggetjesdag)!
During the 1940s and 1950s, Flag Day was celebrated on the Saturday before Pentecost. The named references the flags that were used to decorate the fishing ships that would test their engines after having sat idle throughout the winter.
However, after the late 1960s, new fishing techniques were put in practice that largely removed the need for the ships and "Flag Day" lost its true meaning.
Instead, the holiday was adapted to mark the catch of the first batch of Hollandse Nieuwe herring by continuing to decorate the ships, dress in traditional outfits, play old fashioned games and enjoy music from the era of the true Flag Day.
Beginning in 2006, Flag Day was moved from the Saturday before Pentecost to a later day (different each year) to allow the herring enough time to grow to a suitable size for consumption.
Now the official Flag Day celebrations are focused around the Scheveningen port and are a festive display of a classic Dutch tradition!
Activities on Flag Day 2014
› Classical tall ships decorated & leaving port.
› Herring race - who will bring back the first catch!
› Demonstration by Royal Dutch Rescue Society (KNRM).
› Model making display.
› Herring tasting.
› Beach soccer.
› Traditional crafts display.
› The fish auction.
› And much more!