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Hotch-potch, Herring and Heineken: Leiden’s October Third; “On-set”

October 10, 2012


The year is 1574. The day is October third. Its been over a year now that your city has been under spanish siege. The city wall is looking weaker every day. The supplied are quickly dwindling.  Your close to starvation. And your only hope lies in the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining is months. When it finally happens.

The spanish retreat! The “Geuzen” protestants fighting King Philip the second help liberate Leiden with the assistance of accumulating waters around Leiden to their advantage. Beer, hotch-potch and herring circulated around the town in rejoice. It was a glorious battle that is remembered and celebrated by all Leiden residence. And others from all around Holland too!

Over night the town turned into an amusement park. With rides and a roller coaster set up in the town center or where ever there was enough room! Stand after stand of the most alluring foods one could imagine. My favorite being a funnel cake like snack, thats rolled into a ball. Then drenched in sugar. There was also plenty of places to try one’s luck too, with carnival games set at every angle. But it wouldn’t be a festival without the beer stands that flooded the street down every major road. Oh, and how could I forget the stages set in is separate parts of the canal! Some rave-like with big lights and loud beats, others more rock playing all the Dutch and English classics! I am not going to lie, I was excited to hear them rocking some Billy Joel at one very special moment of the night!

Like Penn-state on game day, the streets were packed forcing one to move slowly to get from one end of a major road to another. Hundreds of thousands flooded Leiden and a strong portion making it out to the fireworks on the bay late on the third. 20 minutes of none-stop explosions left my eyes dry from forgetting to blink. It was freakin’ spectacular. Plus I had awesome friends there to enjoy it with. Also, I I captured a few minutes on an Iphone and will attempt to share with you, my very good looking blog followers.

Holland, known for their ability to DJ, has the crowd to follow it up. Strongly talented in their ability to give honor to the past and their independence today! On-set is a festival I am envious I don’t get to experince every fourth of July.


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