De Nijmeegse Vierdaagse
Nijmegen Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
A few years ago I moved to the city of Nijmegen for my studies. Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands and every year Nijmegen is host to an enormous event. Since I am now an inhabitant of Nijmegen I can not leave this event out of this blog. It is definatley an event worth sharing with all of you.
Every year in summer, around the 3rd week of July, Nijmegen is host to the Nijmeegse vierdaagse. This event is also called 'the walk of the world'. The Nijmeegse vierdaagse is a big event where people from all over the world come to Nijmegen to participate in a 4-day march. The participants can choose to do distances of 30, 40 or 50 kilometers a day. The event is very popular so if you want to participate there is the possibility that there are no places left for you. So people sign up very early and try to get in. If you have already walked in the Vierdaagse the year before and have finished it, you are allowed to walk again. The event is beautiful because it's all about people coming together, supporting each other and having a good time. Children participate in the march, but also elderly people who have walked in the vierdaagse many many times will participate. The march is also very populair amongst military men and women and the whole city will be filled with millitary men and women from all over the world. It's a great sight to see all the different people having a great time together. A lot of people that for example recovered from a disease or are battling a disease participate or people that are walking the march to honour somebody they have lost. All the different stories make it to a very special event with different emotions for everybody.
The best part about the Nijmeegse vierdaagse really is everything around it. The whole city is turned upside down for almost a whole week. There are celebrations in the streets everywhere. Foodstands, musicbands playing all over the city, special parties and performances by Dutch artists on big stages troughout the city. Everybody will be in the streets partying together and cheering on the participants in the march. The participants of the march start walking every day very early at for example 5 in the morning. It's very funny to see all the drunk people who went out to party the night before come to the starting point of the march and cheer on the walkers who are just starting their day. It's almost impossible to get from A to B during this period because all the roads will be closed off, but the people of Nijmegen just take that for granted in this period. The march ends every year in the most famous street of Nijmegen (I live in a sidestreet of that street so its perfect for me) and that is the Sint Anna street which is called: Via Gladiola, during the march. No idea on how to translate that really but I think a Gladiool is a Gladiolus in English? It is tradition that the participants in the march receive Gladiola's when they pass they finishline on the 4th day. It's a very fun event and whenever you're in the Netherlands during this event, you should not miss out on the festivities and atleast come to visit Nijmegen for a day to experience this.