If you happen to be in the Netherlands during the summer months, you might come across a colorful and vibrant event known as a “kermis.” This Dutch word refers to a fair or carnival that travels from town to town throughout the country, offering a variety of attractions, games, and food for all ages to enjoy.
The history of kermis dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was originally a religious celebration marking the anniversary of the dedication of a church. Over time, the religious aspect of the event faded away, and it became more of a secular gathering for people to enjoy themselves. Today, a typical kermis offers a wide range of rides and attractions:
Thrill rides – Roller coasters, giant swings, and other adrenaline-pumping rides are a staple of the kermis experience. These rides are designed to give you a thrilling, stomach-churning experience that will leave you breathless.
Family rides – For those who want something a little tamer, kermis also offers a variety of family-friendly rides, such as carousels, Ferris wheels, and bumper cars. These rides are perfect for families with young children or anyone who wants a more laid-back experience.
Carnival games – From ring toss to balloon darts to shooting galleries, there are a variety of games that you can play at a kermis. These games often offer prizes, so be sure to bring your competitive spirit!
Food stalls – Dutch kermis is known for its delicious food, which includes Dutch traditional snacks such as poffertjes (small, fluffy pancakes), oliebollen (deep-fried dough balls), stroopwafels (waffles with syrup filling), and more. You’ll also find plenty of savory options like Dutch fries, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
Live entertainment – Many kermis events feature live music, performances, and other forms of entertainment. You might see a local band playing, a street performer doing tricks, or a DJ spinning the latest hits.
One of the most famous kermis events in the Netherlands is the Tilburgse Kermis, held every July in the city of Tilburg. With over 200 attractions spread out across several miles of streets and squares, it’s the largest kermis in the country, drawing visitors from all over. Other notable kermis events include the Utrechtse Voorjaarskermis, held in the spring in the city of Utrecht, and the Rotterdamse Zomerkermis, held in August in the city of Rotterdam.
So if you’re looking for a fun and festive way to experience Dutch culture and tradition, be sure to check out a kermis during your visit to the Netherlands. With its colorful sights, exciting rides, and delicious food, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for the whole family.