Festivals and Events in South Holland
Information about festivals in South Holland and what to expect from annual key events in The Hague, Leiden, Delft, Rotterdam and Rotterdam...
There are events on all year round throughout the country. Dutch towns and cities have regular weekly markets and many offer Christmas markets, running between mid-November and mid-December. In summer, outdoor music concerts and fireworks shows are common.
Dates for events vary from year to year, and new festivals will sometimes be added to replace older ones. The Holland tourist website and local Tourist Information Offices have details. Below is a selection of annual festivals in South Holland.
- Delft Chamber Music Festival; ten day classical music festival runs late July to mid-August
- Westerpop; two day rock music festival in late August
- Lichtjesavond; the evening the city’s Christmas tree is lit on the main square in Delft, takes place during the second week of December
- Tulip Exhibitions each spring from late March till mid-May at Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse (20 km from Leiden)
- Laken Festival is a four day festival late June, celebrating Leiden’s history as a major cloth producer
- Leiden Ontzet Festival is a two day festival at the beginning of October which celebrates the Liberation of Leiden in 1574 during the 80 Years War.
- Kings Night takes place on 26 April (25 April in 2014), the night before Kings Day. It is one of the largest events of the year for The Hague, with a music festival, Life I Live, held on multiple stages throughout the city center, with each stage featuring a different genre of music such as jazz, alternative and R&B
- CPC Loop Den Haag: The City-Pier-City half marathon run takes place in mid-March, starting at the Malieveld, continuing out to the beach area of Westduinpark and Scheveningen before returning to the Malieveld
- Festival Classique: Classical music festival which takes place in mid-June. Varies in length from 4-10 days. A floating stage is built on the Hofvijver in front of the Binnenhof just for the event
- Parkpop is one of the largest free music festivals in Europe. It takes place on the last Saturday in June in The Hague’s Zuiderpark
- Tong Tong Fair is the largest Eurasian fair in the world and takes place in late Spring. It showcases Southeast Asian culture with dance, music, lectures, interviews, workshops and a large food offering.
- International Fireworks Festival (in Dutch), is an international fireworks competition held over the water in Scheveningen in August. Eight 15-min fireworks shows (two per night over successive weekends)
- Prinsjesdag held on the third Tuesday in September. The King and Queen ride in the royal golden carriage from Noordeinde Palace to Knight's Hall in the Binnenhof to open the new session of parliament. A school holiday in The Hague.
- Arrival of St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) is a national event which takes place in cities throughout the country on the third or fourth Saturday in November (depending on the city). Sinterklaas and helpers Zwarte Piet arrive by steamboat from Spain. A parade leads from port of arrival to the town’s city hall
- International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), held each January and lasting about two weeks; screenings of new films by lesser-known filmmakers from around the world
- ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, held in February
- Rotterdam Festivals provides information about all the festivals in Rotterdam. July is the biggest month of festivals and include events such as the Metropolis Festival and the Summer Carnival
- North Sea Jazz Festival, held in July, indoors at Ahoy arena, with over eight hours live music per day on each of the thirteen stages
- World Port Days Festival, held early September, with events including boat trips, rescue and flying demonstrations and fireworks
- The Netherlands Military Tattoo runs for approximately one week in late September/October