On view until January 7th


From Passover and Ketikoti to Carnival and Diwali

The Princessehof is going to celebrate for an entire year! Our new and wide-ranging exhibition illustrates how parties are celebrated all over the Netherlands: from Passover and Ketikoti to Carnival and Divali. What do we celebrate, with whom and how? Find out through a variety of festive tables, dishes and stories. Celebrate! can be seen at the Princessehof in Leeuwarden until January 7th 2024.

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, Divali and Christmas. Celebrations vary widely, but food and drink almost always play an important role and so do ceramics. When we have something to celebrate we usually take out our finest tableware from the cupboard, even if it’s just that (slightly damaged) dish your grandmother gave you years ago. It is precisely these personal stories that form the starting point of this associative exhibition, which features twelve installations with many ceramics from the museum’s depot as well as cherished objects from partygoers from all over the country, who also talk about their celebrations and traditions in the audio tour. Interactive elements have also been added to the exhibition: share your best party experiences on a door to a student’s room, set a royal table, create your own nativity scene and take an over-the-top selfie in the festive photobooth.

Party stories

To prepare the exhibition, the Princessehof spent a year celebrating throughout the Netherlands, together with the participants in the exhibition. For instance, Letty gives an insight into the Passover celebration. Why exactly are matzos, fried egg and horseradish on the table? And what is the story behind the tableware, with its special family history? Several contributors also reminisce about being guests at a unique dinner at the Amsterdam Royal Palace in 2017, where they celebrated King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday in the company of the man himself. What was it like to be there, what was on the menu and how do they celebrate their own birthdays? Join Ismahan and Siham for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fasting during Ramadan. What does this holiday mean to them? Janny van der Heijden demonstrates how she sets her table during Christmas. All these and many other stories can be heard in the free audio tour that accompanies the exhibition.

This exhibition is made possible thanks to support from the Mondriaan Fund, VSB Fund, Stichting het Old Burger Weeshuis, Leeuwarder Ondernemers Fonds, Society of Friends of the Princessehof, Stichting Zabawas and Stichting Het Nieuwe Stads Weeshuis. This exhibition is a collaboration with the national education project ‘Feest! Weet wat je viert’, an initiative of Museum Catharijneconvent. Many others contributed content to this exhibition.

Partners of the Princessehof: Ottema-Kingma Foundation, Society of Friends of the Princessehof and Club Céramique.

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics is co-funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Municipality of Leeuwarden.

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