A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
While I was desperately studying for my Earth midterm, somebody shared an article on Facebook about a “Lichtspektakel in Amsterdam en Den Haag”. I learned that this festival of lights was already a tradition in Amsterdam, but has never happened in The Hague before. Therefore, a friend of mine and me decided to take an extra-long study break to get some energy – and to see this promising lightshow. While we are living right in the center of The Hague, it wasn’t really a problem to get there. A mass amount of people was standing in front of “De Bijenkorf”, the store that sponsored the show. On time, at 7 o’clock, the moderator opened the light show together with the mayor of The Hague. The mayor proudly presented some newly released facts: The Hague was voted to have the best downtown of The Netherlands and to be the “gezelligste” city of Holland. Yeah! Everybody got really excited and the ambiance in this light show “for Sinterklaas” was steadily increasing.
Anyways, at first, a German theatre group presented a show with two immense man-like figures made out of light bulbs. They were gigantic and fascinating. However, those lovely men were walking really slowly and therefore we were getting really cold. Estimated 5 degrees outside and we were smart enough not to bring any gloves… Thankfully “de Bijenkorf” was kind enough to hand out scarfs to the public as a gift. What a service. After ten minutes of watching these man walking around, we smelled something yummy behind us. “Dutch Stroopwaffels”. It was the first time I had this amazing kind of waffle with sirup and my companion explained me that this was very typical for “Sinterklaas time” here and – I have to admit – very yummy.
Eventually, the crowd counted down 5-4-3-2-1 and a short, but amazing light show, including fireworks, took place. All in all 200,000 lights were lighting up and created a Christmas-like atmosphere and mood on the square. Since photos and videos can explain more than 1000 words, feel free to check out the video that I took and that can give you a short taste about it.
This event is an example about what makes The Hague so special to live in. There is always going on something where you can learn about dutch culture and experience great things …and what would be a better study break than this?