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Sallandís Stoppelhaene loyally sticks with its rooster

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

RAALTE Ė There are various annual festivals in the Netherlands that have their roots in agriculture. Raalte, the hub of the rural Overijssel region of Salland, has celebrated its Stoppelhaene since 1951 at the end of August, when the areaís then significant rye harvest had been brought in. From the first year onwards the involvement of the community has been significant, with entire streets decorated with a harvest theme, regardless of the participantsí ties to agriculture. The festivalís harvest parade is, with its dozens of entries, one of the largest in the country, each one still more elaborate than the other, all returning to the one two-legged creature, the rooster, king of the stubble left behind by the rye crop. The recurring rooster inspired one of the residents to crow about Raalteís loyalty to the rooster, all put to rhyme. Unlike the Chinese, who celebrate another beast each new year, here the rooster has never been away!