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 three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


The Meierblis is a bonfire that is lit in the evening of April 30th. In this manner one celebrates the transition from the dark winter period to the summer. The word meierblis probably derives from the approaching month of May (mei) and blis, in the sense of a fire. There are seven public Meierblisses, organised by the village committees, often on the edge of the villages. They are lit at dusk by representatives of the village committees. Besides there are around sixty-five fires in private areas in the vicinity of houses and farms. The woodpiles consist of waste material, old furniture, prunings and beachcombing wood. In the course of the month of April the materials are collected and then stacked up by youngsters and adults. One gathers around the fire, roasting potatoes and other food in the fire, drinking and primarily socialising. The children make small fires with materials from the stake and try to blacken each other with soot from the fire.



The Meierblis is held throughout the isle of Texel, at more than seventy places. Around three thousand islanders in the age from four to eighty come to the fires to meet and exchange the latest news. It is first and foremost a feast for the islanders and no commercial event.



The age of the Meierblis tradition is unknown. The oldest written reference dates from 1789 and it describes how the young people of Texel made a fire and danced around it. At the time the Meierblis already took place on April 30th. The collection of fire wood and building the stakes regularly led to fights between the different religion groups in the past. To bother each other, the Meierblisses were lit earlier, for instance. Things like that do not happen anymore now. In World War II the Meierblis was officially prohibited. Due to a shortage of combustible materials by the end of the war, it was not possible to build stakes anymore. In 1946 the Texel Journal announced that the tradition had been re-instated. Between 1948 and 2013 the date coincided with Queen’s Day. Now that King’s Day is celebrated on April 27th, the Meierblis has its own moment again. While Meierblisses were often used for burning prunings in the past, nowadays the emphasis is more on the social aspect, the cosy togetherness around the fire.