Draaiorgels (street organs) are mechanical musical instruments played by a moving music pattern set in a turning pinned barrel or disc. Some of the musical arrangements are quite beautiful and complex.
Draaiorgels are usually found around city and town centres and it is customary to tip these public entertainers.
A tyical Dutch one: zakje patat
The very favourite, and so typical Dutch fast food is the "zakje patat"! It's known as "French Fries", and considered originally from Belgium (Pommes Frites). The sliced potatoes fried in oil with salt are an extremely popular snack, usually served in a paper cone.
The original "zakje patat mét" is served with frite sauce, or mayonnaise. A "patatje oorlog" is even more bizar and, served with mayonnaise, red ketchup and sate sauce (a kind of sauce made of peanut-butter) with onions. The name literally means "French Fries in war"! Well, just try it and enjoy this typical Dutch (and The Hague, too!) snack ...
For the The Hagues (Hagenezen) this is well-known.
Getting a "garnalen-kroket", a kind of snack; ie. a croquet which is filled with shrimps.
Like herring and Haagsche Hopjes candies just try this grandeur.
You won't disappointed ...
The best "shrimps-croquet" shop is >>>
Groot Hertoginneln 147
2517 ER The Hague
(see link for more fish shops)
You can get fresh shrimps-croquet fried in oil for about 75 Euro-cents a piece (yep, quite cheap!).
Or take some home, and fry these when you're are in the mood tasting a wonderful The Hague shrimps-croquet ...
have a great snack appetite ...
The true The Hagues one: Watch the Dutch word "LEKKER"!
Most people do speak the standard-Dutch, although a kind of dialect (slang) is characteristic to any area in the Netherlands. Especially Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht became the dialect-city where the city dialects of Zuid Holland, included The Hague & Rotterdam, got judged negatively. Because the social status of rich and poor were so evident.
The Dutch word "LEKKER" mainly means "nice". Not a dialect, just to emphasize something. Though to ALL what makes your feeling "nice", we yell "LEKKER!".
So for food, drinks, emotions, girls, hunks, sport, shopping, sleep etc. we say "LEKKER". Even with sale the prices are ... yes, LEKKER
Only in The Hague you'll hear "LEKKAH!".
The passage called Babylon (if I remember correctly) is a shopping mall, cosy and enjoyable to walk through. It felt not like being in a Dutch city, it gave me some Italian feel, yet I have never been to Italy, this is just talk :-)
A sporting one: New Year's Dive
This painting of me looks like "DON'T DO IT!!!" though it is a must for thousands of people at 12 noon on New Years' Day. Like polar bears people they dive into the freezing waters of the North Sea. In spite of Mother Earth is warming up her temperatures and the North Sea isn't a frozen solid North Pole-sea, it is very, very cold!
Imagine; 2 degrees Celsius, could be snowing like crazy, and when Dutch notorious cold wind is blowing. Then just get your boxers or a swimsuit with a read-white-blue knitten bonnet on your head to specify you among thousands of people on New Year's Dive, Scheveningen. Fun for sure, also in 2005, 2006, and the Newyears' Dive 2007!
Happy New Year
An Indo one: Indonesia & The Hague
The Hague is known as the "Widow of Indonesia". Before its independence in 1945, Indonesia was a Dutch colony (with Jakarta, Java, as central district). When people went home to the Netherlands, some didn't want to go back to the Indies, staying at the Archipel residential area of The Hague. A lot of former colonials went for their residence in this region where the streets got names after the islands (Java, Borneo, Celebes), which made up the Indonesian Archipelago (still the Indo-buurt/neighbourhood).
After Independence day (1945) many Dutch and Indonesian people followed and adopted Dutch nationality. These Eurasians got the nickname of "Indo". In The Hague you still can find the best Indo restaurants and tokos (Indonesian shops) than in any other town in The Netherlands. Bookstore Van Stockum Booksellers is well-known for Indo - books ...
And ofcourse there is the Pasar Malam Besar, the greatest event for Indo people...
and a lot of Indo JAVA-guys & -girls!
A fishy one: Herring - Harinkie
The Hague people say "He is the best!" and go for the well-known herring-cart at the Hofweg, center of The Hague. Enjoying their "harinkie" (herring) they meet the ministers and other government personalities, longing for a "harinkie", the Hollandse Nieuwe Haring (Dutch new herring). Famous people come by taxi, others risk a penalty parking their car nearby for a "harinkie" ... The Hague's are right... he is the best!
At the Hofweg just between the Buitenhof (Outer Court) and the Binnenhof (Inner Court), you'll find a taxi-stand ... and the herring-cart with its excellent herring and other delicious fish-snacks. Take from the Central Station tram 3 - 6 ... enjoy your herring!
A royal one: Presentations at Palace Noordeinde
Holland has many traditions (the Dutch' love it!) and The Hague also maintains several customs. An interesting one, typical of The Hague, is: >>>
Presentation of credentials:
Most of times at Wednesday morning, when 2 brand-new ambassadors present their credentials (Letter of Credence ). It is a ceremonial happening at Noordeinde Palace where H.M. Queen Beatrix meets the ambassadors between 09.45 and 22.30. So did the Ambassador of the Indonesian Republic in December, 2002, to represent his country in the Netherlands. With special invitation it's definitely worth a visit, some locals go for this event.
A happy one : Queen's Birthday
Although H.M. Queen Beatrix officially celebrates her birthday on 31 January, the nation celebrates the Queen's birthday on 30 April. Like most towns in the Netherlands, The Hague will host numerous festivities throughout the city. However the Queen will visit another city in Holland, according the tradition. So the festivities at The Hague just honours Her always laughing Majesty ... at the Palace Noordeinde.
In the street of The Hague's center you'll find numerous free-market-stalls in the street, with bottom prices. All day long you can hike, having fun, drink something, have a snack ... Do feel welcome on this April 30 Queens Day! Until now anyone may enjoy it every year, also at Thursday April 30st 2009 !
Unfortunately this last Queens-day ended up in a horror drama, because a crazy man tried to attack the bus of the royal family at Apeldoorn. He killed 7 people, included himself ...
painting is with permission
by Frans Erkelens
my master painting-teacher
A glamorous one: The Opening Of The New Parliamentary Year - Prinsjesdag
Every 3rd Tuesday in September a lot of people come to see H.M. Queen Beatrix for the national annual address, that will be make at Knights' Hall. This is the historical event of the Queens' "Troonrede" (Speech of Throne). In 2004 it was held on Tuesday, 21 September, in 2006 on Tuesday, September 20. The Royal Family will drive up to the Binnenhof in the famous Golden Coach, where the Queen will officially open the new parliamentary year with the address from the throne (Queen's Speech). A majestic moment in The Hague, named "Prinsjesdag" (Day of the little prince)!
The center of The Hague will be very crowded for that day, even when it's raining. Along the road where the Golden Carriage is driving, all the houses and appartments look over-crowded with interested people, friends, journalists and other guests. Mostly all coming out of The Hague ... for the foto-shoot of their live (that close the processon will pass!), to show The Hague-people afterwards, included me ... ;-)
What finally succeeded on September 19, 2006!!! Hooray!
And September 18, 2007, I will be there again!
The Binnenhof & Knigth's Hall will be closed to the public during the opening of the new parliamentary year.
And The Best !!!
The Dutch celebrate the Monarchy every year on the 30th of April, named Queens Day. Every year on April 30 the Dutch celebrate this day with the biggest party in the world. Hollands most musically rocking pop-town is The Hague, and our loyal and royal home is the-best-of-the-best festival of The Queens-Night, the "Koninginnenach".. On this day, ... no, evening-night (!) you may go totally loose!
Because the celebrations start in The Hague on the evening of the 29th of April. Many many people, young, old, males, females, all races celebrate in the streets, on the (ancient) squares of the Hague, just before going to major parties of 30th of April in the clubs, disco's, dancings.
The Hague boasts the most famous night in the whole of Holland: the eve of Queen Beatrix' birthday, Koninginnenach (to be pronounced with a really broad Hague accent!). Last year 2007 we jumped into this Queens-night, and had a lot of fun... and drinks too ;o)))
Don't miss anything of this event and best local Hague's custom !!!
Also in 2010 we jumped into the Koninginnenach, even this year it was a bit rainy !!!
A sunny one: Scheveningen Beach Resort
Scheveningen, with its pleasant boulevard and the well-known myriad of attractions from sorting to trendy, from beach freaks to nature lovers. Including the dune area, the renovated Pier, the Casino, the Circus Theater, a mega cinema, a shopping mall and, see at bottom of pic the famous Old Church. Scheveningen has it all!
Also the 2004 September year’s Kite Festival was a sunny happening. Scheveningen has organized the Kite Festival for the past 26 years. You will have magnificent views of the kites from the boulevard and the beach. Watch the "grabs", "kiteloops", "handlepasses" and more ... pay respect to the elder locals who come to join, too!
A funny one: Flag Day - Vlaggetjesdag
It started somewhere in the 16th century. On the Saturday before Pentecost the Scheveningen locals decorated their ships with flags. Sunday, the first day of Pentecost was a church day; at the second day of Pentecost (a Dutch tradition) all Scheveningen people came together on the quays to watch the decorated ships that would sail out for the next morning. The one who would bring the first herring after a few weeks (direction Scotland), was the proud winner of this herring race.
In spite of this, Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day) did lose its original signification, and every year the organisation succeeds to bring the Scheveningen traditions very alive again. Since 2003 the tradition of the herring race has been reinstalled in full of splendour with many many tourists. After all the harbour of The Hague, Scheveningen, is a very photogenic area and, you can have some delicious sea-food snacks around ... like we had at Juin 20th 2009 again !
Info : Folklore-vereniging
v. Beverningkstraat 156
Public transport : -> tramline 8 from The Hague HS -> tramline 1 - 9 from The Hague CS. From The Hague south & Congresgebouw : -> busline 14.
There is guarded bicycle store.
Flag Day - Scheveningen
A trendy one: Black Path Fun
Known to all local people in Scheveningen; the Southern-beach of Scheveningen is well-known for surfing, in that way the Northern-beach is crowded with trendy beach-pavilions. Here you can watch the kite-surfing.
The upmost fashioned beach is along the Black Path (Zwarte Pad) where you can walk down for a good beach-walk up to Wassenaar (Wassenaarsche Slag). In the dunes behind you can make a great cycling-tour and take a rest at a quiet beach here. Or just have great fun on the beach during the Summer-season.
From 1 March to 1 November you have to pay for the parking-places on the Strandweg (beforehand at the parking-automatic machines) and the Black Path/Zwarte Pad (on the way when you leave). From 1 November to 1 March (Winter-season) the parking is all free here!
No dogs allowed from 15 May to 1 Oktober. Take Tramline 1 or 9 to Scheveningen. Get out at stop "Zwarte Pad", Gevers Deynootweg.