The Netherlands will donate first catch of herring to German and Dutch healthcare workers

The Netherlands will donate first catch of herring to German and Dutch healthcare workers

Herring is one of the most famous traditional Dutch foods. The trademark "Hollandse Nieuwe" is the tastiest and most renowned herring, which is caught each year in June.

This year, a generous donation will be made to healthcare workers in the Netherlands and a neighbouring German state, to thank them for their work and care in the coronavirus crisis.

Dutch herring donated to healthcare workers

On a typical Flag Day or Vlaggetjesdag, the first vat of fish is usually auctioned off, and profits go to a charity. The auction value can be sizeable - for instance, in 2016, the vat of herring was sold for 90.000 euros. Well, this year is different.

To mark the occasion during corona times, instead of being auctioned off as is typical, the first catch will be donated to healthcare and hospital workers in the Netherlands and in North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany, to show gratitude for taking care of Dutch corona patients.

Many healthcare workers based in North Rhine-Westphalia lent their assistance by taking in some Dutch coronavirus patients over the border in German hospitals. Germany also offered extra COVID-19 tests to corona patients in the Netherlands.

A Flag Day to remember, minus the street festival

On Flag Day, named after the Dutch flags that decorate the boats, the first herring catch is brought to shore, and the people of The Hague and its surrounding region usually head out to the coastline at Scheveningen to celebrate the first Hollandse Nieuwe herring of the season with a street festival. This year, however, the street event is cancelled.

There’s still an online programme (in Dutch), such as herring quizzes, online streaming of live happenings, but the main public events associated with Flag Day have been called off for safety reasons. The public can look forward to Hollandse Nieuwe herring for sale at street kiosks and fishmongers stalls all over the Netherlands soon! After all, herring is one of the most popular Dutch street foods.

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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