Leidens Ontzet (Relief of Leiden) 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.
- The entire inner city of Leiden makes for one big party during Leiden's Relief on 3 October.
- Participate in the traditions and eat herring and white bread at the Waag.
- Street theater, music and fairground. You won't have time to get bored during Leiden's Relief!
Traditions of Leidens Ontzet
Despite the fun fair and numerous parties, Leidens Ontzet is a celebration with many traditions with historical meanings. The morning of three October 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 with an international character, particularly due to its 400 year old university. During Leidens Ontzet the city transforms into one great festival with entertainment on every street corner. So mark your agenda, because you want to be in Leiden on 2 and 3 October.