The Dutch kicked off the new year with quite a bang--actually, a whole day of nearly non-stop bangs. I have never seen so many fireworks! Once my nerves adjusted to the constant noise, I could begin to appreciate the show.
Those who weren't busy satisfying their inner pyromaniac were standing in line waiting for oliebollen, a traditional New Year's treat of deep fried bread balls with raisins and some powdered sugar sprinkled on top. I made a New Year's Eve run to the market down the street for non-oliebollen related matters and was surprised to discover the normally quiet shopping center blocked by a sea of customers crammed in front of the small bakery. The special olibollen cart set up outside was also doing brisk business. I didn't get a good photo, but fellow blog Life in the Hague shows one of the undoubtedly many lines winding around the city.
As we approached midnight, I thought that surely the Dutch must be running out of fireworks. I couldn't have been more wrong! At the stroke of midnight everyone doubled, or even tripled, their efforts until the sky was lit up in all directions by flashes of color. Neighbors joined each on the streets to watch the show, while others found an upper story window to share a glass of champagne with a loved one.
|Multiply this view by 360 degrees...|
|Red lanterns lazily drifted above the fireworks.|
The first hours of 2015 were full of celebration and wonder (if not much sleep). I hope we can keep a little of this spirit with us during whatever this next year brings.