Posted by: patriciamar | October 2, 2009

Leiden’s Day

All of Leiden is excited!  Carnival games and rides are up and running, the cotton candy (suikerspin!) is selling, and the whole city center smells of deep-fried oliebollen and poeder suiker (powdered sugar). 

I am in Leiden at my favorite cafe, dipping koekjes in my cappuccino foam and watching and feeling the level of excitement rise all around me.

As usual, the light rain doesn’t seem to be affecting anyone as they go about their cafe-hopping and shopping the pre-holiday sales.  Various stages have been erected throughout the city, where no doubt, cover bands, djs and traditional Dutch music will be blaring within a short 24 hours.  The streets and sidewalks have all been expanded by the various flats and barges brought in and strung to the sides of the canals.  Some such areas literally stacked with kegs of Heineken.  It is finally Leiden’s day, Leiden Ontzet, every October 3, when people from around the country come to toast the city’s successful perserverance through the seige of the Spanish in 1574.

Well, it may be more of a theoretical toast…It’s possible they’re all here for the beer and oliebollen.  One can never be quite sure when it comes to Dutch partying.

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