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Flags Day herring festival


“Flags Day” is the yearly festival which celebrates the arrival of the New Herring. It is celebrated every year on the Saturday before Pentecost.
This year “Flags Day” will take place on Saturday June 18th’ in Scheveningen near The Hague.
Traditionally this day was the day the herring fishing fleet would get ready for a new fishing season after the long cold winter. Boats would be decorated with many flags (hence the name) and sail around the harbor.
These days it is a celebration of the arrival of the first barrels of herring to the shore. The New Herring is a loved delicacy in The Netherlands and its arrival is definitely a reason to celebrate. Decorated boats, lots of beer joyful people and of course fresh herring are the backbone of this festival.
The first harvest normally arrives on the days leading to “Flags Day”. if the Herring is not “ripe” or fat enough “Flags Day” can be postponed.
The first barrel of New Herring is symbolically auctioned and the profits go to a different charity every year. This year the sum of €67,000 was achieved. It is the third highest sum ever paid for the first barrel of Herring. Experts praise the quality of this years’ catch and compare it to the great year of 2009.




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