Universiteit Leiden

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Internationals wanted: join Leiden University in the 3 October Parade!

11 September 2019

Every year on 3 October, the city of Leiden celebrates the Relief of Leiden in 1574, when the siege of the city by the Spanish during the Eighty Years’ War was lifted by William of Orange and his army of Sea Beggars. The Relief of Leiden, or Leidens Ontzet, is celebrated throughout the city with music, parties, a funfair and loads of other activities organised by the 3 October Association. One of the traditional events is the Grand Parade through the streets of Leiden. This year’s theme is: Jong geleerd is oud gedaan, meaning something like, ‘You’re never too young to learn.’

The history of Leiden University is closely tied to the Relief of Leiden. Legend has it that William of Orange wanted to reward the citizens of Leiden for their bravery. He gave them a choice: no taxes for ten years or a university. They choose the latter, and Leiden University was founded in 1575. That makes this year our 444th birthday, and to celebrate we will participate in the Grand Parade on 3 October. And we hope that our international students and staff will join us! A unique chance to experience the celebration of the Relief of Leiden from a whole other perspective.

The University group will form a unique procession of current and former professors with their children or grandchildren together with our Rector Magnificus, followed by students dressed up in student outfits through the ages and a beautiful float in the shape of the Old Observatory. Behind the float, we want to show the many nationalities that our university brings to the city, so we are asking our international students and staff to join in the parade.

If you’d like to celebrate 3 October in a special, very ‘Leiden’ way and join the parade, sign up before 20 September! Do make sure to read the information below beforehand!

Practical information and registration

You’ll be expected at the starting point at Bonaventura College on Burggravenlaan in the morning of 3 October (at approx. 10:00 hrs.). There you will receive instructions and a small lunch while the parade is set up. The parade will start at exactly 13:00 hrs. The route is about 2.5km, and it will take us about three hours to get back to the starting point. You won’t need a special costume – we will provide you with a Leiden University cap. But if you have a flag of your home country, big or small, or a shirt or sweater with the flag on it: please bring it along!

We hope to see you there. Sign up now! Deadline: 20 September.

If you have questions, please contact Marieke Epping (Strategic Communications and Marketing Directorate).

Last year, a small group of (international) students joined the parade, to warm the audience for Leiden University's 444th anniversary this year.
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