Holidays

Art on the streets (Or: The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague)

Thursday was King’s Day in the Netherlands, a holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. Or to just enjoy a nice day off…

But the real fun happens the night before, as The Hague organises a festival called The Life I Live. I have written a few blog posts about it, including last year’s rainy celebration and the 2013 celebration (back when it was Queen’s night; the last one as Queen Beatrix addicted the throne the next day).

The Life I live festival 2017, Kerkplein in The Hague

One of the many stages, set up at the Kerkplein (by the Grote Kerk)

Like last year, there was also an area set up for street art. This year’s theme must have been Mondriaan-inspired as there was a lot of primary colors in block formation.

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

A look at another side, which had just been started:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (2)The third side:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (3)

And the last side – Marco’s favorite – a Mondriaan-inspired Transformer!:

Transformers street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

Luckily the rain held off this year. It was cold – colder then even Christmas! – but bearable.

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Candles and flowers (Or: A Valentine’s Day display at Xenos)

Here’s a look at part of the Valentine’s Day at Xenos (a discount store):

valentines-display-by-xenos-in-the-hagueIf you need candles or flowers, you’ll definitely in luck…!

I also took a picture of this cute snow globe. Inside you have the iconic Dutch clogs:

snow-globe-with-dutch-clogs

Not that we have much snow at the moment. After a week of cold, we have (relatively) warm temperatures, at least through the weekend. And of course, rain…

But we’re past January – it can only get warmer from here! In theory.

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Chinese New Year 2017 (Or: Festival in The Hague)

Random photo from Saturday, during the Chinese New Year festivities:

chinese-new-year-dragon-the-hague-2017Cute!

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Chinese New Year (Or: Tomorrow in the city centre)

Tomorrow the city of The Hague and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Netherlands will be hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations. 2017 is the year of the rooster!

Program at City Hall:

  • 11:00 Asian market at the atrium
  • 11:30 Dragon dancing and fireworks at the Spuiplein
  • 12:30 Opening ceremony and speeches at the atrium
  • 13:00 Chinese music and dance at the atrium
  • 18:00 End of program

Other areas of interest:

  • 11:00 Chinese New Year’s Market at both Rabijn Maarsenplein and the parking lot behind Bijenkorf
  • 13:00 Dragon and lion dance with fireworks at Chinatown (Gedempte Burgwal)
  • 13:00 Presentations at the JoHo centre on the Paviljoensgracht about Chinese culture and traveling within China
  • 18:00 End of program

 

Chinese New Year Den Haag 2013 dragon dancers 3

One of my photos from the 2013 Chinese New Year celebrations

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A burst of color (Or: 2016 New Year’s celebrations)

This past Saturday Marco, Roger and I celebrated the closing of 2016. As per our yearly tradition, after midnight we go outside for about an hour and check out the fireworks. This year it was quite foggy even before people started setting off fireworks, so it seemed like most people began their celebrations early in the night rather than waiting until midnight.

My favourite photo from that night had nothing to do with the fireworks – it was of the Christmas lights at a house. Although since the lights were red white and blue you could say they were celebrating their nationality:

christmas-lights-on-new-years-eve-2016-the-hague

high-flying-fireworks-on-new-years-eve-2016-the-hague

While some of this fog was due to the fireworks, it really was a pretty foggy night

purple-fireworks-on-new-years-eve-2016-the-hague

A bit of purple to brighten the night sky

tending-to-the-fire-on-new-years-eve-2016-the-hague

Quality time with family and friends

Everyone seemed to have the fire “baskets” you see above. Not sure where they came from.

All in all, yet another fun year. 🙂

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Time to “gourmetten” (Or: Fun in the Netherlands for New Year’s Eve)

This year we are celebrating New Year’s Eve at Roger’s. One of the most important parts of that (besides hanging out with friends, of course!) is “gourmetten”. Below is a picture of all of the gourmetten foods Roger purchased for the evening, although we already know we won’t be able to eat everything.

preparing-for-gourmetten-and-new-years-eve-in-the-netherlands

“Gourmetten” is a Dutch tradition of frying meats and (to a lesser extent) vegetables on a small grill on the dinner table. You can see pictures of the gourmet grill in the 2015 New Year’s Eve blog post I made. Roger purchased a new grill for 2016, so I will try and take some photos of that in action. I can’t wait!

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Second day of Christmas (Or: Christmas tree in Bijenkorf)

To celebrate the second day of Christmas in the Netherlands…

I was in Bijenkorf last week and noticed they put in their Christmas tree for the holidays. It’s so large (four floors high) that it is difficult to get a complete photograph of. But to give you an idea:

2016-christmas-tree-bijenkorf-the-hague-from-below

A look at the tree from below, standing on the ground floor

I love the blue theme!

2016-christmas-tree-bijenkorf-the-hague-from-above

And a look at the tree from above

Last year’s Christmas tree was a red and gold theme.

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First day of Christmas (Or: Christmas tree in De Passage)

To celebrate the first day of Christmas here in the Netherlands, here is a look at the Christmas tree within De Passage:

christmas-tree-de-passage-the-hague-2016

The fun story being this tree – in 2013 there were rumours that the Christmas tree would no longer come back because it ruined the view of the incoming Apple Store, but it was still present in 2013 (the Apple Store wasn’t open yet) and luckily present in 2014 and 2015.

And here we are in 2016! (This year I heard from someone that it wasn’t that Apple wanted to ban the Christmas tree so it didn’t ruin the store view, but that they wanted to decorate it themselves but the other stores were against that. Makes sense, but probably just another rumor.)

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Bailey’s chocolate mousse (Or: A Christmas dessert by Roger)

Roger made a chocolate mousse with Bailey’s liquor for Marco and I last week. It was actually a trial run for this weekend, when he will be making the dessert for his family:

baileys-chocolate-mousse-with-chocolate-shavings

Yum!

Last year’s Christmas dessert was a tiramisu dessert in a wine glass.

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Photos from a work Christmas party (Or: Oh – THOSE are crackers?)

A few weeks back Marco and I attended a Christmas party for my work.

table-at-a-christmas-work-party

A look at the table we were sitting at

christmas-crackers-in-the-netherlands

The red and white tubes are actually Christmas “crackers”, although all of these are broken open already. It’s basically a tube which two people pull apart to make a noise like a firecracker (“cracker”), apparently with a witty saying inside. Mine was something like “The things you dream about can’t keep you awake at night” or similar.

Ever since I moved to the Netherlands I thought these items were actually crackers – that is, food. Imagine my surprise when a coworker said we should take turns pulling them apart. Haha!

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