Netherlands to donate first catch of herring to healthcare workers in NRW

Netherlands to donate first catch of herring to healthcare workers in NRW

Herring is one of the most famous traditional Dutch foods. The first batch of the trademark "Hollandse Nieuwe" herring is caught each year in June and auctioned off for charity. This year, instead, it will be donated to healthcare workers in the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia, to thank them for their work and care in the coronavirus crisis.

Dutch herring donated to healthcare workers

On a typical Flag Day, the first vat of fish is usually auctioned off, and profits go to a charity. The auction value can be sizeable - for instance, in 2016, the vat of herring was sold for 90.000 euros. Well, this year is different.

To mark the occasion during corona times, instead of being auctioned as is typical, the first catch will be donated to healthcare and hospital workers in both the Netherlands and in North Rhine-Westphalia, to show gratitude for the care they gave to Dutch corona patients.

Many healthcare workers based in North Rhine-Westphalia lent their assistance when a number of Dutch coronavirus patients were admitted into German hospitals. Germany also offered extra COVID-19 tests to corona patients in the Netherlands.

A Flag Day to remember, minus the street festival

On Flag Day, named after the Dutch flags that decorate the boats, the first herring catch is brought to shore, and the people of The Hague and its surrounding region usually head out to the coastline at Scheveningen to taste the first Hollandse Nieuwe herring of the season with a street festival.

This year, however, the street event is cancelled. There’s still an online programme, such as herring quizzes, online streaming of live happenings, but the main public events associated with Flag Day have been called off for safety reasons.

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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