Our annual ‘straô’ village festival – pronounced as in ‘wow’ – centres on the washing of horses’ hooves in the sea. Out on the west of Schouwen-Duiveland every village has its own version, but they nearly all feature dressing up the horses with an element of competitive pride – and traditional costumes for the riders. Between mid-February and end March, you’ll come across the fun and its fundamental folklore on the island: times vary, in Renesse, Noordwelle, Burgh-Haamstede, Scharendijke, Ellemeet en Serooskerke.
Head ’em up, wash them hooves!
In March 2018, the straô was added to the Dutch ‘inventory of intangible cultural heritage’, a coveted national list launched in 2012 when the Netherlands accepted the UNESCO Convention to safeguard the broad phenomenon.
Dates of events
22 February in Burgh-Haamstede from 11.30 am on
29 February in Noordwelle from 10.30 am on
7 March in Ellemeet from 11.30 am on
14 March in Scharendijke from 12.00 am on
21 March in Serooskerke from 11.15 am on