New Years Eve and Fireworks Rules in The Hague


I’ve experienced New Year’s Eve a couple of times before and it’s quite crazy here in The Netherlands with fireworks everywhere!  It’s also quite common to hear fireworks being set off during the night throughout December.  I didn’t think this was allowed but didn’t know the exact rules…until we had a letter from the council in our letterbox this week.  I’m translating the letter (roughly) into English below for my own practice and as useful information to those who don’t speak Dutch.  Please note this is general information only and for specific advice, check directly with your local city council.


Dear residents,

New Years eve is a fun festival for all residents of The Hague.  The police and council do everything to make it a good and safe night.  However we really need your help, so in this letter, you can read how you can assist in making it a safe evening.  Will you help?

Clean, safe street

Around New Year’s, it’s extra important that there is no rubbish on the street because this can catch fire.  The council, police and corporations also do their best to clean up flammable items.  You can also help to keep the streets clean.

  • Make sure there is no rubbish on the street.  Take bins inside if possible.  Look at your household rubbish calendar online.  Only put large items of rubbish on the street if you’ve made an arrangement for it to be collected
  • Do you see rubbish on the street on New Year’s Eve?  You can call the council on the 31st December between 8am-8pm.
  • During New Year’s Eve do you see flammable material on the street?  Call the police.

Paper, plastic and other bins temporarily closed

To prevent fire, a number of the public bins will be sealed, so you won’t be able to use these temporarily.

Closing of underground bins

To prevent fire, in the following locations, the underground bins will be closed on 31 December until 2 January.  (with a list of relevant locations).  During the time of closing, you are not allowed to put rubbish bags next to them on the street.  Until they are open again, you will need to keep your household rubbish in your house or garden.

Fires on the street

Every year, in several places in the city, fires will start.  This causes damage to the road surface, the greenery and pavements.  Making a fire in a public place is punishable by law.  This is also applicable to collecting flammable material to start a fire.  It is illegal to make a fire on the street, including during New Year’s Eve.  This is strongly enforced.   there are a few places where bonfires are allowed, but these are organised and overseen by the council, police and fire department.  You can check these locations online

Keep an eye out

For an enjoyable and safe beginning to 2013, it’s important to close gates, garages etc.  If you see something suspicious, you can call the police.

  • Call 112 if you are a witness or victim to a crime or accident
  • Call 0900 8844 if it’s not an urgent situation
  • Call 0800 7000 if you wish to remain anonymous (for example are afraid of repercussions)
  • You can of course always talk to police agents who you see on the street

Help via

After a crime, missing child, fire, break in or other incidents occur in your area, Burgernet participants receive an SMS or voice message on their phone.  So you can also be aware of suspicious people or vehicles for example.  Already around 16,000 residents participate, and you can too by registering on

Special fireworks and Christmas tree clean up

Participate and win!  Help clean up all the Christmas trees and fireworks and win a prize. Whoever deposits their old Christmas trees and fireworks at one of the collection points receives a card with a unique code.  You can save these points or might receive a “golden code” and win one of the major prizes.  This initiative is held on the 30th December and from 2-6 January 2013.  Want to know more?  Visit for information


The rules:

  • Fireworks can be purchased on 29, 30 and 31 December
  • Fireworks can only be sold to people over the age of 16
  • Fireworks can only be lit on 31 December between 10am and 2am (1 Jan)
  • Lighting fireworks before New Year’s Eve is illegal

Legal Fireworks:

  • Only purchase from reputable and registered fireworks locations
  • Possession of illegal fireworks is punishable by law

For more information see and


Is there damage in a public space after New Year’s Eve?  Please register this as soon as possible by calling the council.

Let’s make New Year’s Eve a fantastic festival.

(signed by the Leidschenveen-Ypenburg Den Haag council).

Please note this is a rough translation and is simply for general information and not to be used as specific advice for your situation.  Please check directly with your local city council.  A copy of the original letter is below.

fireworks letter 1

fireworks letter 2

fireworks letter 3

2 thoughts on “New Years Eve and Fireworks Rules in The Hague

  1. Yes. I repeat: Was staying in Heiloo (while the friends who live there were staying in my house, here in Sydney) and walking ‘home’ from the railway station in this lovely white “postcard-style” landscape, while the fireworks were exploding not that far away. It seemed wrong.
    Spent New Year’s Day in Loosduinen and looked down into the Loosduinse Hoofdstraat where the street was thick with the debris from the fireworks.
    My children were still very little when fireworks were allowed here in Sydney for the last time.

  2. I start with “I repeat” now, pretending that I KNOW that I’m repeating myself. I don’t start like that because I believe you need to be told twice. 🙂 (Information overload and advancing years.) 😦

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