Everyone has heard of the bucket list. A list of experiences that one hopes to accomplish during their lifetime. Some of the most universal experiences are swimming with dolphins, travelling along the Trans-Siberian Express, and witnessing the Northern lights. Most people will have similar lists to one another simply because of how great these popular bucket list ideas are. However, Mother Earth has over 510 million km² of land to discover, so why not make your list stand out from the rest?
On the West coast of Netherland, you can find The Hague. The only large city with a beach along the North Sea. The city itself has many distinguishing features. The Gothic-style Binnenhof complex is the seat of the Dutch parliament, and 16th-century Noordeinde Palace is the king’s workplace. The Old Town is a typical Dutch city with narrow streets and dark stone buildings. And this pretty neighbourhood is sat beneath the city’s Highrise buildings towering over the low-lying nation.
Although The Hague is one of The Netherlands best-hidden gems, it’s not the main reason to be added to your bucket list, the New Year’s bonfires are. This tradition began with locals burning their Christmas trees along the beach. Today, the two regions of Scheveningen and Duindorp face off to see who can build the biggest bonfire. In 2019 Duindorp claimed victory by just 80 cms. The height of their bonfire was a staggering 48 meters tall! This led to a once in a lifetime spectacle, a tremendous fireball that ignited the beach and the night sky!
Unfortunately, due to local laws and regulations that have been brought into place, the maximum height the bonfire can rise to is 35 meters, which is still an outstanding spectacle.
The following morning, on New Year’s Day, you can take part in what is another local tradition. This tradition began from a local swimming group diving into the ice-cold waters of the North Sea at midday on New Year’s Day. Today, that heritage is still alive. In 2020 almost 10,000 tickets were sold for the event. Thousands of people line the beach while waiting for the clock to hit 12. And when it does, adrenaline junkies from all across Europe throw themselves into the sea.
This is not the most glamorous of bucket list idea, but if you’re seeking fun, excitement, and a unique story to tell, be sure to check out The Hague New Years’ Eve bonfire! For more information about The Hague, you can click on the link down below.