Happy Chinese New Year! Yesterday The Hague and countless other cities across the world celebrated the holiday, signaling the start of the year of the rat.
Most amusing for me was the sea of red paper left behind from the parade:
New Year celebrations – Chinese or otherwise – are always a good excuse to set off some fireworks.
And here’s a look at one of the mini parades, led by a group from Nijmegen:
And another photo:
I don’t know… the year of the rat? But they are the first zodiac animal, and are seen as a sign of wealth in the Chinese culture. So there is that! If this is your zodiac sign, be proud of your ratliness (note: I made that word up).
The Netherlands has survived its night of fireworks. We did see one drunk guy (still holding his bottle of alcohol) walk up to a police car waiting at a stop light and talk to police agent for a few minutes. Maybe he was simply wishing them a happy New Year, who knows. By the time we crossed the street the police car was on the move again.
There is also a YouTube video available from user VerdierMedia PuntNL where he/she uses a drone to capture the fireworks over The Hague last night. Check it out!
Okay, I’ll admit – I don’t have a bike in the Netherlands so I am a bit biased with this post. However I was thrilled to hear that the shopping street on the Grote Markt would be closed to bikes this weekend+Monday and next weekend+Monday (article in Dutch). On a normal day it is dangerous trying to cross the street to get to the shops, but during Christmas…? Forget about it.
I’ll be honest – tourists and those not from The Hague have no clue where they should walk, which just angers cyclists even more. And I don’t think most cyclists know that there’s no official bike path on that street and that they should be adjusting their biking based on the movements of the pedestrian, and not vice versa.
If you’re interested, you can watch a time lapse of them re-doing Grote Marktstraat back in 2015. I will admit the street is much more beautiful now than it was, but the old street made it much more obvious that you were crossing a bike path.
Oh, and it’s still extremely busy in the city centre even without the cyclists!
It’s become a tradition – take a picture of the Christmas lights at Bijenkorf (a high-end department store – the name means beehive).
Here is 2019:
This year you have the addition of a digital advertisement board — which caused a bit of controversy when they were installed because of the noise and light pollution they caused. Things seemed to have died down since then, though.
Bijenkorf’s window displays are always a hit with the shopping crowd – each different than the last.
Last Sunday Marco and I were enjoying coffee at the central library when we saw a commotion outside the window. The police were practicing with the royal horses in advance of Prinsjesdag (held last Tuesday), with the route going past the library.