Cow Market Woerden is a unique folk festival and has been celebrated every year - since 1410 - on the Wednesday after October 20th. Admirers of the city, from the region and (former) residents all come to the city center of Woerden to celebrate this annual festival. During Cow Market, the "harvesting" of cows is celebrated. At the same time it marks the moment on which the cows go back to the stables for the winter period. A variety of activities takes place during the annual market. Visitors can enjoy culinairy traditions, such as Dutch Pea Soup, Dutch Mini Pancakes and 'Kristaljons'.
In 2017, the Cow Market has been awarded a place on the Immaterial Cultural Heritage Inventory list!Read more about Immaterial Cultural Heritage Inventory
Cow has the wrong date for Cow Market... hilarious video, made prior to Cow Market 2017!
Cow Market Woerden originates from 1410. That year, duke Jan van Beieren earned the privilege of organizing a free annual market for horses and cattle. The markets were organized on different days back then. In the course of time more activities were added: funfair, musicians, street vendors and stunt workers. Even though the dates changed in the course of time, two seperate markets were organized until 1935: the Horse Market was held on the Monday after October 18th and the Cattle Market was held on the Wednesday after October 20th. The date of the Cattle Market has stayed the same ever since. The animals that are seen on the market today, as well as the trade that still takes place, have a symbolic function. Eating Dutch Pea Soup and Dutch Mini Pancakes are traditions that have survived the innovations of entertainment in modern times.
Since the early 1990's, the 'Night of Woerden' has been an important part of the Cow Market tradition. Since 2000, the International Cyclo-cross (wielerronde van Kiremko) takes place during the Night of Woerden.
On the night prior to Cow Market, the city center of Woerden is the stage of Night of Woerden.
To start off, one visits the International Cyclo-cross. The best cyclists come to Woerden for this important cycling race.
Afterwards, one goes to the city center to party. Dj's and singers and bands from Woerden perform here. You can behold the music, while enjoying a drink. All of Woerden and the region comes together on this occasion.
On Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 October there is a funfair at the Exercitieveld, fun for all ages!
The party lasts until the early morning hours... Around 5 am the farmers' cows are brought to the city center fof Woerden for the Cow Market.