Flag Day | First herring catch in Scheveningen
A true Dutch tradition takes place each June, celebrating the year’s first herring catch at Flag Day in the port of Scheveningen near The Hague!
Flag Day - celebrating the first herring catch
Flag Day (Vlaggetjesdag), which takes place each year in Scheveningen, is one of the biggest street parties around The Hague. Get an insight into the old Dutch fishing trade. Watch beautiful fishing boats arriving at the port and, meanwhile, catch a glimpse of local people dressed up in traditional clothing.
The most renowned herring in the Netherlands
Herring is one of the most famous traditional Dutch foods. The trademark "Hollandse Nieuwe" is the tastiest and most renowned herring, which can be caught between mid-May and the end of June. On Flag Day, named after the Dutch flags that decorate the boats, the first herring catch is brought to shore, and all of The Hague heads out to the coastline to taste the first Hollandse Nieuwe herring of the season.
On a typical Flag Day or Vlaggetjesdag, the first vat of fish is always auctioned off, and profits go to a charity. In 2016, the vat of herring was sold for 90.000 euros.
Flag Day during the coronavirus pandemic
In 2020, due to coronavirus, the street event was cancelled, but the first catch was still celebrated. To mark the occasion during corona times, instead of being auctioned as is typical, the first catch was donated to health workers in the Netherlands and in North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany, to show gratitude for taking care of corona patients.
Enjoy herring and more on Flag Day
There is much more to the day’s programme than just tasting the herring. Music, both modern and traditional, will be played all around the harbour. Join old Dutch children’s games, admire the boats, listen to the marching bands and take a look at traditional old Dutch trades being demonstrated for the occasion. Let's hope the Dutch weather stays fine for the event!