Gouda by Candlelight

Since 1956, candle evenings have been organized in Gouda as a festive welcome to the tree that our sister city Kongsberg donates to us every year. In 2024 Friday, December 13, is the new date we can all look forward to. Put it in your calendar and in the meantime we will evaluate and put together a new program.

But what does a day of Gouda by Candlelight look like? You can expect a beautiful cultural event that consists of various activities in the Christmas spirit throughout the city center from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The main event is the festive lighting of the lights in the tree between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The public lighting is off and the historic town hall, houses and shops around the market square are illuminated by thousands of Gouda candles.

Would you like to know what the Gouda city center looks like during Gouda by Candlelight? Spend some moments to enjoy last year’s Gouda by Candlelight December 15, 2023, the 68th edition already of Gouda by Candlelight.


De Boom is aan!

📸 Remco Gerritsen

Plan your visit

Every year many people come to Gouda by Candlelight. Do you only want to come on Friday or do you want to make it a weekend in Gouda?
Gouda has several hotels, numerous B&Bs, and just as many restaurants.

The city is easily reached by public transport. You can travel by train from anywhere in the Netherlands to the Gouda intercity station. You can walk from the station to the city center in a Christmas atmosphere in about 5 minutes.

Visit the Gouda tourist office (VVV) for more information.

How it all began…

With a tree

Where a bond of friendship between two cities can lead, a tree comes from Kongsberg to Gouda since 1956.
It started in 1952 with the visit of the Kongsberg Byorkester to the International Festival for Wind Orchestras and Fanfares in the Goudse Veemarkthallen (now the Nieuwe Marktpassage).

In 1956, Gouda councilor Harry Hagendorn wrote a letter to the conductor of the Norwegian orchestra. He referred to the successful festival and asked whether Gouda could get a Christmas tree from Kongsberg. The conductor responded enthusiastically and conveyed the request to the councilor of Kongsberg. The Norwegian councilor, Mr Guttorm Friis, was immediately enthusiastic and selected a tree, which arrived in Gouda on December 12.
In return, the mayor and aldermen sent Gouda cheese, Gouda pipes and Gouda candles to Kongsberg.

And adding the candles

In 1958, the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Candle Factory was led to the first Candle Evening. On May 22, all windows of the town hall were lit with candles as part of the festive program.
A number of Gouda entrepreneurs like this so much that they decide to repeat it on the evening when the lights in the Christmas tree are lit. This is how Candle Eve was born.

All electric lights have been extinguished and candles are also burning behind most of the windows on the Market. 1,500 candles are needed to light the town hall windows alone.

Boom met adressering
Kaart van het centrum van Gouda met de locaties

Area of the event locations

The map shows the different locations around town where performances took place on the 15th December.

  1. Goudse Schouwburg, Boelekade 67
  2. Cheese Experience, Agnietenstraat 21
  3. Agnietenkapel, Nieuwemarkt 100
  4. Achter de Waag
  5. Waag, Markt 35
  6. Markt
  7. Chocoladefabriek, Klein Amerika
  8. Hofje Raoul Wallenbergplantsoen
  9. Binnenplaats WSHS (voorheen Weeshuis), Spieringstraat 1
  10. Hofje Willem Vroesenhuys
  11. Aloysiusschool, Spieringstraat 18
  12. Sociëteit Concordia, Westhaven 27
  13. Oosthaven 15-16
  14. Gouda Studio’s, Oosthaven 12
  15. Museum Gouda, Oosthaven 9 en Museumtuin, Achter de Kerk 14
  16. De Firma – kunstcentrum Gouda, Achter de Kerk 13
  17. Sint-Janskerk, Achter de Kerk 2
  18. Podium Peperstraat
  19. Visbanken, t.h.v. Hoge Gouwe 19 en 23
  20. Cultuurhuis Garenspinnerij, Turfsingel 34
  21. De Lichtwijzer, Hoge Gouwe 141
  22. Oud-Katholieke Kerk, Hoge Gouwe 107
  23. St. Joostkapel, Lage Gouwe 134
  24. Vrije Evangelische Gemeente, Turfmarkt 23

Volgende edities

13 – 12 – 2024
12 – 12 – 2025
11 – 12 – 2026

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