There are cities that come to life in spring, but become drab, unimaginative blocks of building materials in the winter. However, one city that becomes part of a fairytale in the winter is Gouda.
The highlight of this fairytale, this year, will be Saturday, December 13. On this day, From the early afternoon to late in the evening, there will be music, official walks, street theater and dancing, as well as a live manger and free concerts in the city’s churches. The mayor will read the story of Christmas, a huge Christmas tree will be lit and the crowd of people gathering around this scene will sing Christmas carols. At the same time, ,thousands upon thousands of candles will be lit throughout the city center, taking you back to the days of Victorian fairytales, families gathered around the fireside, and steaming mugs of hot cocoa.
On Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15, the city will be organizing a Winter Fair in the St. John’s Church, with more than 70 stands, offering food, seasonal products, Christmas decorations, local products, books, home decoration, and more, while – from December 18 to January 12 – there will be an ice-skating rink on the square by the City Hall, which will be open from 9 A.M. to 11 P.M., even on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Of course, the charm of Gouda does not end on January first. There is plenty to see, an interesting selection of museums, a centuries-old inner city, good food, nice people and a friendly atmosphere.