Fireworks in the Netherlands


Fireworks in the Netherlands

One of the great things about New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands are the fireworks. Whether you just love the watch a great firework show or like to light it up yourself: both are definitely worth staying up until midnight for.

Visit a firework show

A firework show is great because it is a place where you and your friends can meet and watch the beautiful fireworks together. Also, the fireworks are lit by licensed handlers who are allowed to use bigger and more fireworks than average households. So prepare to be amazed by lots of beautiful fireworks during one of the shows.

The Hague has its very own firework show at the Hofvijver, which is broadcasted nationally. A must-do if you live nearby!

Lighting up fireworks yourself

In the Netherlands, you are allowed to light up fireworks yourself. However, there is some regulation regarding fireworks that you should be aware of. Also, you should be very careful as accidents are not a rare thing.

Buying fireworks

You are only allowed to buy fireworks at stores with a permit to sell firework. This ensures that you purchase firework that is safe. Also, you should note that there is a minimum age (usually indicated on the package of the firework) at which you can light up the particular firework. This minimum age depends on the kind of firework.


There are some rules when it comes to lighting up fireworks, due to the possible nuisance and risk. One of the most important rules to keep in mind is that you are only allowed to light up firework between December 31 18:00 hrs and January 1 02:00 hrs. Your municipality could have set up some firework-free zones, like in the city centre or near hospitals, animal shelters and city farms. It is prohibited to light up firework in these zones.


Every year lighting up fireworks causes injuries, due to unsafe handling. Especially young people between the age of 10 and 19 are at risk, and most often injured are heads and hands.

Some basic safety rules are:

  • Keep pets indoors
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Store the fireworks in a dry and cool place
  • Never carry them in your pockets
  • Don’t wear flammable clothing or hoods
  • Find a steady and flat base to light from
  • Check the age restrictions and instructions
  • Keep passersby in mind
  • Keep away from children
  • Take care of the wind direction
  • Never experiment by bundling fireworks
  • Keep at least 6 metres distance after lighting
  • Never relight fireworks they don’t work the first time
  • Keep a bucket of water handy