Straô celebration in Noordwelle
February 15th is the day then the first Straô celebration of the year takes place.
This Schouwse tradition was named an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO in 2018 and you should definitely not miss it! The straôriën or straôriën (beach riding) takes place in February and March in six villages in the Westhoek of Schouwen-Duiveland. The origin of this traditionally folk festival or “spring festival” goes way back in time. After a long winter, the farmers and servants removed their horses from the stable and drove to the beach to wash the animals’ legs. People believed in the healing effect of seawater.
To this day, this festive event is still taking place where every village has its own customs. The riders usually gather with their decorated horses at a fixed point in the village, after which they ride to the beach together. Noordwelle is known for its large procession of decorated horses, including a large number of farm draft horses. Impressive to see!
In 2020 there will be a Straô celebration on six Saturdays:
February 15 Renesse
February 22 Burgh-Haamstede
February 29 Noordwelle (for the program see www.noordwelle.com)
March 7 Ellemeet
March 14, Scharendijke
March 21 Serooskerke