Relief of Leiden (Leidens Ontzet) is the event of Leiden that commemorates the Spanish siege and subsequent relief of the city in 1574. Leiden becomes one great festival for two days in a row. Enjoy the parade, fun fair, market, concerts, parties, fireworks and traditional dishes.
Traditions of Leidens Ontzet
Despite the fun fair and numerous parties, Leidens Ontzet is a celebration with many traditions with historical meaning. The morning of October 3rd starts with the reveille at the city hall after which free herring and white bread is given out at the ‘Leidse Waag’. This is followed by a musical gathering in the ‘Van Der Werf’-park and a service in the Pieterskerk. In the evening people traditionally eat a carrot and onion stew called Hutspot. The festivities end with a grand firework show.
2 and 3 October
Leiden is a bustling, friendly medium-sized city. During Leidens Ontzet the city transforms into one great festival with entertainment on every street corner. So mark your calenders, because you want to be in Leiden on the 2nd and 3rd of October!