We’re having a “Siberian Winter” here on in the Northeast, USA! Since it has been below zero out, I was thinking of the warmth of summer, galloping across the beach on my horse (something I’ve always wanted to do!) and thought that I would remind us all this summer will come soon by featuring horses being bathed in the sea and the Strao Festival in the Netherlands!
Strao Festival ~
Location: Dutch Provenience, Zeeland, Netherlands
First mention: 1643
Strao, is an annual feast day on the Dutch island of Schouwen-Duiveland . The Strao Festival is celebrated only in Burgh- Haamstede , Ellemeet , Noordwelle , Renesse, Scharendijke and Seroskerke. During the event, People ride richly decorated horses on the beach and in the sea for the first time in the new year.
In the beginning, the Strao Festival was held on the first Monday of Lent, when the horses went back to work after a long winter in the stable. Workhorses, especially those with a lot of hair on their legs, were bothered by the soreness in their legs and hooves. To help get rid of the stiffness and to disinfect minor inflammations of the skin on the legs, the horse’s feet were washed into the sea. According to popular belief , it was also good against nightmares – the spell was broken by the sea water.
After 1955, every village celebrated this festival on a different Saturday from mid-February to late March festival is held in Zeeland. The person who has participated most often takes the lead and blows a brass horn and the rest follow~
Here are a few paintings of horses being bathed in the summer!
And here are photos from the Strao Festival, by Bram Van Broekhoven! The photos are from 2010-2015.
Bram van Broekhoven~
I asked Bram van Broekhoven , the photographer who took these photos of the horses and riders in the Straô Festival a few questions about himself and his art!!
Wouldn’t be so cool if we could start a Strao Festival here in USA?! I’d love to decorate my horse up and ride on the beach-when it is warm, though:) Thank you ,Bram van Broekhoven, for letting me share with my readers your photographs!!!
Does anyone want to join me in April at Sandy Hook Park in NJ? When it is warmer:) Contact me if you want to!:)
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !