Gouda by Candlelight
For a Dutch fairytale celebration of lights and festive beauty, check out Gouda by Candlelight!
About Gouda by Candlelight
The historical city centre of Gouda will be illuminated to celebrate Gouda by Candlelight. Gouda is most famously associated with cheese and many visitors come from far and wide to the Gouda Cheese Market during the spring and summer months. As well as producing cheese and stroopwafels, Gouda was also known for manufacturing candles, which is how this celebration came about.
Photo: Astrid den Haan
Typically, Gouda by Candlelight is visited by around 20.000 people from the Netherlands and abroad each December. The shepherds bring their animals into town and join a living nativity scene as the beautiful churches present free concerts, and gorgeous decorations brighten up the street.
Galleries and museums are usually open and freely accessible all day. In the town centre, you can take a city walk with, or without, a guide. The shops are typically open, and up to 50 restaurants prepare special menus to contribute to that extra special feeling on the day.
Photo: Mariel Everling
Illuminating the night in 2023
At sundown, electric lights will be turned off and over 1.500 candles will be lit to illuminate the night in the city centre. The day’s highlight takes place between 7pm and 8pm when, during normal circumstances, everybody gathers at the square by the medieval City Hall. The lights on the enormous Christmas tree will be lit as everyone joins in and sings Christmas songs, accompanied by a professional gospel choir.
Don't limit yourself to one hour though, as there are many wonderful performances at various well-known places throughout the day. From classical music to theatrical performances, from singing to dancing - you won't want to miss it!
See Gouda by Candlelight
Keep up to date with what's going on by browsing the Gouda by Candlelight website. Given how busy the city centre gets during the event, it is best to use public transport to get to Gouda by Candlelight.
Thumb photo: Remco Daniel Gielen