New Year’s fireworks, Indonesian rijsttafel named Dutch cultural heritage

Fireworks on New Year's and the Indonesian rijsttafel - or rice table in English, a meal of Southeast Asian food consisting of a selection of spiced rice dishes - are two of nine traditions that were added to the National Inventory Intangible Dutch Cultural Heritage this week, the Dutch Center for Popular Culture and Intangible Heritage announced.

According to the BCN, the work group community behind the tradition of lighting fireworks on New Year's, this is an old tradition that is popular with many people in the Netherlands, but also results in accidents and environmental damage. With the placement on the cultural heritage inventory, the BCN wants to increase the safe use of consumer fireworks, by for example promoting the use of safety equipment like goggles. According to the group, this is the only way the future of the fireworks tradition can be guaranteed.

"The tradition of citizens setting of fireworks has existed since the 18th century, a tradition that old deserves to be passed on and not to be ruined by misbehavior such as causing nuisance and vandalism", the group spokesperson said. "New years should again become a celebration for everyone."

The nine traditions added to the inventory this week are:

  • Limburg syrup cooking
  • Indonesian Rijsttafel
  • Tambu
  • Duindorp bonfire
  • Voorburg-West bonfire
  • Brielse Masquerade
  • Meierblis on Texel
  • Ouwe Sunderklaas on Texel
  • Fireworks on New Year's

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