So, another Dutch tradition for me to figure out – the Avond4Daagse.
This is the third year for our eldest and second for our youngest to take part. Children seem to join in from 5 years old, but I did see some younger kids too, and a few parents with prams. To my very basic understanding, it’s to promote outdoor, healthy exercise. Over the course of 4 days (the 4 daagse part), in the evening (the avond part), lots of children, their parents and teachers do a 5km walk. The kids pay 6 euros each and get a small treat each day (like an apple or an ice block) and I think a medal at the end. I think it has grown out of the concept of the Nijmegen 4Daagse, which takes part in mid July each year and started back in 1909.
There are walks that take place all over the country, co-ordinated on this website: http://www.avond4daagse.nl
I have to admit, I am a total cheat – I didn’t walk with my husband and kids yesterday at all (it was way too cold for this Queenslander, with a storm brewing) and today just did a short part of the loop. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do the whole lot, and I know on the last evening, it’s usually very festive, often with parents or grandparents buying bunches of flowers for the kids to victoriously claim as they finish the last 5km of the 20km total! My husband and the girls are taking it very seriously though and doing every step. ;)
The girls have a small card that gets stamped each evening:
We live in an area called De Bras, which lies in a very pretty area between Delft & The Hague, here’s a quick look at this evening’s walk. It started at 6pm and takes around an hour or so to do the circuit, which changes each evening.
I’m guessing a couple of hundred people took part, organised by the local schools, with each school carrying a banner/flag (you’ll see one in the video if you look closely). From a distance, it kind of looks like a long line of busy (colourful) ants!
My daughters are most excited by the fact that their friends and teachers take part. My husband and I like that it’s a chance to catch up with other local parents.
Have any experiences or wisdom to share about the 4daagse? Be great to hear it below in a comment…