Zeeland plays host to a number of great events, such as the traditional Straoriën and major (music) festivals where you can really let your hair down.
Concert at Sea
For two days in June, Brouwersdam is transformed into one large festival ground for the Concert at Sea. The event was established by the popular, local Dutch band BLØF, who makes sure that every year, the line-up includes many of their colleagues from the Dutch music world. This is a great chance to see and hear the Netherlands' most popular bands and sometimes a few of their friends from abroad too.
During the straô event on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, the villagers' horses have their hooves washed as part of a century-old tradition for warding off evil spirits. Don´t miss how beautifully the horses are dressed for this annual event either. It really is worth having a look! The straô takes place in early spring (February and March) in the villages of Burgh-Haamstede, Ellemeet, Noordwelle, Renesse, Scharendijke and Serooskerke.
Where does the straô tradition come from?
Straoriën is an ancient tradition that stems from the Germanic Iron Age. It was thought that by washing the horses´ hooves, people could drive out evil spirits. When the horses paraded back to the village, they would ride around the village a few times to protect the village too.
The most beautiful (and most difficult) marathon of the Netherlands is held in the first week of October in Zeeland. The marathon is open to runners and walkers and leads them from the beaches at Burgh-Haamstede, across the storm surge barrier, the dunes and beaches on to the finishing line in Zoutelande. Registration starts every year on 1 January. The walking event is especially popular, so don´t dawdle! Register straight away.
Domburg is always a great spot for water sports (fantastic surf and strong winds) but the first weekend in May is especially spectacular. That is when the Nix Games take place: a top extreme sports and water sports event. There are clinics for stand up paddle boarding (SUP), surfing, kayaking and kitesurfing, as well as experienced pros giving demonstrations and showing the latest tricks. More on the Nix Games here.
For just one Saturday in July, Middelburg is transformed into the City of Dance. A true Walhalla for big names from the Dutch dance scene and for partygoers, the City of Dance starts in the city centre and is open to all. In the evening, the party moves to a dedicated location where paying partygoers can join the after party, dancing into the small hours to the very best in dance beats.