These orange hats are a combination of ice skating culture on the Dutch Ditches, lakes, chanals and some frosen rivers if we have the chance to skate. It is a winterhat with some Patriotic (Orange) flavor.
Frisian tv in Frisian language
The Elfstedentocht (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛlf'steːdə(n)tɔxt]; West Frisian: Alvestêdetocht [alvəˈstɛːdətɔxt], English: Eleven cities tour) is a skating tour, almost 200 kilometres (120 mi) long, which is held both as a speed skating competition (with 300 contestants) and a leisure tour (with 16,000 skaters). It is held in the province of Friesland (Fryslân) in the north of the Netherlands, leading past all eleven historical cities of the province. The tour is held at most once a year, only when the natural ice along the entire course is at least 15 centimetres (6 in) thick; sometimes on consecutive years, other times with gaps that may exceed 20 years. When the ice is suitable, the tour is announced and starts within 48 hours.
Course and rules
The tour, almost 200 km in length, follows a closed or circular route along frozen canals, rivers and lakes visiting the eleven historic Frisian towns: Leeuwarden (Ljouwert), Sneek (Snits), IJlst (Drylts), Sloten (Sleat), Stavoren (Starum), Hindeloopen (Hylpen/Hielpen), Workum (Warkum), Bolsward (Boalsert), Harlingen (Harns), Franeker (Frjentsjer), Dokkum, then returning to Leeuwarden (Ljouwert). The tour is held only if the ice is, and remains, at least 15 centimetres thick along the entire course as about 15,000 amateur skaters will take part, putting high requirements on the quality of the ice. The last tours were held in 1985, 1986 and 1997. All skaters must be members of the Association of the Eleven Frisian Towns. A starting permit and bib is required (€100 in 2017) Skaters must collect a stamp in each city, and at three secret check points, and must finish the course before midnight.
The finishing point of the Elfstedentocht is a canal near Leeuwarden (Ljouwert) , called the "Bonkevaart", close to the landmark windmill, De Bullemolen, Lekkum.
Dutch professional ice skate chapions are mostly Frisian guys, often with a farmer background, who became professional speed ice skaters. Elfstedentocht, Marathons, 5,000 meter and 10,000 meters.
World Championship in Korea, two Dutch Frisian skaters against each other. Dutch top skating is a Frisian business, with a few Hollander competitors. But the Frisians with their lakes, chanals and ditches are always the best. They have ice skating in their blood, they are the Northerners.
On these national and international ice skating championships and on the Dutch chanals and lakes the Dutch wear their orange hats with a blue a yarn "bobble" or pom-pom upon its top.
The videos of Ice skaters was interesting for I do have a vested interest in ice skating. For not just as a young man, but to take leave to Cuxhaven. I was to notice of many ice skaters were were wearing speed skates, this are important for the broad blades for better thrust for the sake of speed. For the reason of my weak ankles, I used figure skates for the better support, just was tricky whilst around any pressure cracks on any of the lakes. For the surrated blade ends would follow the crack and dig in with a predictable ending and butt sliding on the cold ice.
It makes a nice outing with friends for a day of ice skating, with some hot chocolate and sandwiches to eat once to stop for a rest.
Pieter, thanks for so much more information and beautiful pictures. Dutch definitively are unique and it is not just due to their orange you have a spirit and joy... I think, there is a point when you worry about losing some of this culture due to migration.