The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every two years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


Since 1574 every year on and around October 3, the relief from the Spaniards is commemorated and freedom is celebrated. The celebration starts on October 2, with the arrival of Beggars over the water from the Apothekersdijk to De Waag, followed by the symbolic firing of a number of cannon salvos. This is followed by a stew meal at the Hooglandse Kerkgracht and the start of the youth tattoo.  Artists perform throughout Leiden.

On October 3 the celebration starts on the town hall square. This is followed by the memorial service which is held every year in the Pieterskerk since 1574, except during war years. In the afternoon, the Grand Parade takes place through the city as well as various events, organised by the city, such as street theatre, water market and pole vaulting by students and sports events. At 11 p.m. the celebration ends with fireworks.


The organisation of the commemoration and celebration of the Relief of Leiden has been in the hands of the 3 October Vereeniging (October 3 Society) since 1886, in close cooperation with the municipality of Leiden, neighbouring municipalities, police and other emergency services. There is also cooperation with organisations in and around Leiden. Approximately 300 people participate in the organisation of the celebration, supported by some 3000 people, such as extras at the parade, members of the sports clubs at the tattoo and students at the pole vaulting.

The celebration is well attended every year with about 200,000 visitors from Leiden and surrounding areas.


On October 3, 1574, the Beggars of William of Orange expelled the Spanish troops and distributed herring and white bread among the starving population. The feast, the Relief of Leiden, has changed ever since. Initially it was still celebrated soberly, but after 1823 this changed. In that year, the Minerva Student Society called on the students to hang out the flag on October 3 and to hand out herring and white bread. This happened after the decision of the city council to always celebrate the Relief of Leiden on Sundays, in order to save a day off. In 1886 the October 3 Society was founded, in which the Minerva Student Society was given a place on the board.


To safeguard the commemoration and celebration of the Relief of Leiden in 1574 for the future, the following actions are taken:

  • The October 3 Society is actively involved in engaging primary and secondary school pupils as well as students from the university and Leiden College.
  • The collections of Heritage Leiden and of the association are actively maintained and updated.
  • The October 3 Society initiates and finances scientific research within the framework of the Chair of Urban History.
  • There is cooperation with the business community, the university and 3 Leiden mosques to involve more people in the celebration.


3 October Vereeniging
Vondellaan 51
2332 AA Leiden
Zuid Holland