May 10, 08:15
Demonstration with explanation and often many extra festive activities
REGION – National Mill Day is just around the corner. The most important wind turbine event in the Netherlands, made possible in part by the VriendenLoterij, is this year on 14 and 15 May. As usual, hundreds of old wind and water turbines are opening their doors throughout the Netherlands. Vereniging De Hollandse Molen, the association of all still working old mills in the Netherlands, organizes the event annually together with the Guild of Volunteer Molenaars.
Millers and mill guides everywhere are eager to show their visitors everything and tell them even more about this traditionally Dutch living monument. Festive activities are also arranged in a large number of places. There is a nice gift for kids. The website below shows the participating turbines with all details and opening hours. In the time leading up to National Mill Day, more and more turbines are being added. There are also bike and hiking tours.
Holland has wind turbines in all shapes and sizes and functions. From small ‘spider heads’ to large scaffolding turbines, wooden post and tilting turbines, octagonal ground sails and round stone turbines and so on. It is well known that mills can grind grain and move water. But mills also grind mustard and even chalk, can beat oil and saw wood. Each mill is unique and has its own history. It is therefore not surprising that thousands of volunteers are active in the wind turbine country. As a volunteer miller, but also as a mill guide, in training teams or in mill shops where flour, mustard, oil and several mill products are sold. During the National Mill Days, all of these enthusiasts are happy to share their passion, and other enthusiasts are invited to attend.
There are also little gems. For example, the recently restored tjasker in the National Park Weerribben-Wieden by Jonen. Only by bike and accessible via a tow ferry, the small mill becomes tough in the beautiful landscape.
There is something extra for everyone to experience on National Mill Day. Some celebrate their birthdays, such as the Hompesche Molen in Stevensweert (L), which turns 300 years old. Pancakes are baked on many flour mills. There is also often music, a bouncy castle has been set up for the children or there are book or plant markets.
If you want breakfast on the scaffolding with a beautiful view, you can go to the windmill De Hoop in Zoetermeer on Saturday. In addition, various turbines can also be visited by shuttle boat and admired from the water, for example in Leiden and in Rijpwetering (ZH). In addition, a number of mills participate in ‘Mills on the air’, where radio amateurs are connected with other radio amateurs around the world. This includes from Broekdijkmolen in Warmond (ZH), Oude Molen in Fijnaart (NB) and De Eendracht in Gieterveen (D).
Narrators can be heard on many wind turbines. For example in Weert near Sint Anna (L), in Utrecht near Rijn en Zon and at Noordmolen in Ambt Delden (Ov). At Noordmolen you can also learn how oil is beaten.
National Mill Day is an event that not many mill owners will miss. But sometimes circumstances arise that make a mill have to skip a year. For example, not all the consequences of the 2021 floods will be behind us along the Limburg Maas. Elsewhere, there is an extra large party because the restoration has been completed. Fortunately, Ceres in Bovenkarspel (NH) has now been fully restored after the dramatic fire on New Year’s Eve in 2020. The mill has recently been festively opened and will be there again on National Mill Day.
Mill quiz and photo competition
National Mill Day is also celebrated online. There is a wind turbine quiz with which a wind turbine event worth 450 euros can be won. The lucky winner can spend the night and eat in special surroundings. In addition, there is a photo competition where both juniors and adults can submit their wind turbine photos. In the week after National Wind Turbine Day, the public voters decide via the page which photographers will win the wind turbine event. A wind turbine event will also be drawn among the voters.
During the national mill day, Coop’s Mill in Zelhem is only open on Saturdays. There is a performance by Wi’j Eren ‘t Olde and Craftsman by Nostalgies.