The Friday and Saturday before Pentecost, the annual Luilak market takes place in Haarlem, a tradition dating back to 1890. The market kicks off on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. on Saturday. Alongside flowers and plants, garden items like sculptures and paintings are also on offer, perfect for sprucing up your outdoor space. Approximately fifty stalls line the Raamsingel and Raamvest. 

what’s new this year?

If you find yourself purchasing lots of plants consider this solution: plant delivery by boat. Two designated points, Paul Krugerkade in Haarlem-Noord and Noord-Schalkwijkerweg in Haarlem-Zuid, serve as delivery spots where you can retrieve your newly acquired greenery. Ample parking is available at both locations.*

what is luilak?

This non-Christian tradition, observed on the early Saturday morning before Pentecost, is primarily celebrated in North Holland. In the early morning, children take to the streets to rouse late risers (referred to as ‘luilakken’ or lazy sluggards) with lots of noise and playful mockery. In addition to door ditching, noise is generated by dragging old cans behind bicycles and clanging pots and pans together. 

origins of luilak

Legend has it that this tradition stems from the calamitous year of 1672 when the night watchman (Lak) of Amsterdam’s city hall fell asleep, failing to alert the city’s troops to the advancing French army.

Planning to visit the Haarlem Luilak market? Share your experience on Instagram or Facebook and tag Hello Haarlem. Enjoy your time!

At the time of writing this blog, specific locations for plant drop-off points for boat transportation were not available.