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.