The exhibition Feest! Van Pesach en Ketikoti tot Carnaval en Divali (Celebrate! From Passover and Ketikoti to Carnival and Diwali) at the Princessehof in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands opened on 29 October 2022 and can be seen until 20 August 2023. The exhibition show how Dutch celebrate through a variety of festive tables, dishes and stories. Based on twelve different celebrations, the Princessehof presents a rich palette of personal, religious and cultural celebrations and commemorations that mark important moments in life. The exhibition features the children’s festival, Lunar New Year, Carnival, Passover, a students’ party, a birthday, a selamatan, a wedding, Eid al-Fitr (Sugar Festival), Ketikoti, Diwali and Christmas.
The exhibition was certainly colourful. Lots of tables, full of tableware in all kind of colours and shapes made me feel quite happy during my visit to the museum. Some cherished items were borrowed from people, many others came from the museum’s depot. A must is the audio guide I think, because partygoers from all over the country, and from all kind of cultures, talk about how they celebrate their traditional feasts. There were however so many stories, that I hardly had enough time to listen to all of them. You can also share your own experiences in an interactive way, by writing on a door to a student’s room or leave your own birthday on a board. There is also a festive photobooth (I guess that is where I had my photo taken) and create a nativity scene, which I must have missed.
One of the tables set up in the exhibition is the birthday table of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands from 27 April 2017, when he turned 50 and invited 150 people sharing his birthday. The table – in a glass case – is set with a Sèvres-service, cutlery, glasses from the Royal Collection. Unfortunately the video of the King inviting everybody for his birthday was not loud enough to be heard. A few guests that were invited on the occasion tell how they normally celebrate their birthday on 27 April, and how special it is to share the day with the King. You can also try to set a royal table yourself, which even I didn’t dare to. But it was fun to scan the QR-code and see how it should have been done.
Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Princess of Orange-Nassau
On the ground floor of the Princessehof – that 1731-1765 was the residence of Marie Louise, widow of Stadtholder Johan Willem Friso – a Nassau Room with portraits of the Frisian Nassaus, as well as objects and prints can be visited. It is a permanent exhibition. There is also a dining room. Both rooms remember the royal past of the ceramics museum.
Grote Kerkstraat 9
8911 DZ Leeuwarden
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 11am-5pm.