The Netherlands Next Debate: The Fireworks Ban

Now that Sinterklaas finally went back to where he came from (Turkey Spain)  our nation’s favorite topic to debate has departed as well: bye bye Zwarte Piet discussion! So what’s the next big thing that will truly seperate the Dutch? I’m putting my money on a fireworks ban!

A Fireworks Ban?

But dear DutchReview guy, fireworks is not a Dutch thing right? I’m here since Kingsday and you guys barely set anything on fire that day

Where most countries celebrate their independance day of some sort with fireworks we Dutch prefer to celebrate our nation with flea-markets and boozing. But come NYE we light it up big time! And I’m not talking about general-nicely-organized fireworks shows (although we do see these more and more). In the run-up to NYE loads of Dutch kids and grown men flood to all kinds of establishments to buy massive loads of (il-)legal fireworks. While the idea behind it is that people celebrate for roughly an hour at 12 in the night it obviously doesn’t work like that.

What does happen though is hundreds of missing eyes, scared-to-death pets and a 5-day period in which the Netherlands sounds like a battlefield.

Such a ruckus is getting frowned upon in our neat ‘n tiny country. Time to ban that unorganized pleasure many people say!

Enter the Fireworks Ban debate

In many municipalities fireworks have already been regulated. Assigned firework-timeswindows are tightened, there are special designated zones to blow stuff up and some big cities organize special firework-shows for the big public in the hopes that you will stop blowing stuff up as is your secular-given-right as a Dutch person. But with teenagers still flocking to the eye-hospital on the first day of the year many parties such as the Green Lefties are suggesting a complete ban on fireworks for Joe the Plumber.

Firework ban
‘Let’s see: if I have everything: Oliebollen, champagne and some Firework of Death’

So why not?

It’s a tradition! In case you haven’t noticed, the Dutch (or the rest of the world for that matter)  are clinging on to traditions such as these for dear life. Screw the hundred of victims every year, I was brought up with blowing away a few hundred euros (or even better GULDENS) in a day – so will my kid. A ban on fireworks will not make Holland great again! (/sarcasm)

And so the debate will probably continue for the years to come…

What do you think? Are the Dutch out of control on NYE or is this a refreshing break from the way too smoothly organized Netherlands the rest of the year?

Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Founded DutchReview. Rotterdammer living in Leiden. Politics, innovation and epic food-reviews are his thing. Interested in doing anything with DutchReview? Contact him at abuzer[at]


  1. […] Fireworks-wise it’s a mixed picture. On the one side the whole situation seems to have improved, less fireworks related complains were called in comparison to last year. But I personally think this might also be because this year’s eve was a bit more wet and cold then last years.  And other side things have gotten worse, for instance: more people have been administered at the eye-hospital then last year. All in all, the Dutch will probably be complaining about fireworks next year as well. […]


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