Welcome to roelwijngaarden.com, you have chosen the English language, so, maybe you're not quite familiar with the Dutch (also German, and some other European countries) tradition to light consumer fireworks on New Year's Eve. To express the scale of this tradition a few numbers. In 2014 dutch firework lovers spent for 65 million euro’s on consumer fireworks, besides several millions spent on fireworks outside Holland. Most of this fireworks is lighted in the eight hours when it is legal to do so, you can imagine the sky above the Netherlands look quite amazing in these 8 hours.

 

Since the ~1930's the dutch people have a habit to welcome the new year with lights and al lot of noise. Making noise feels like the Chinese tradition to scare away evil ghost's. I'm not shure my ancestors did made the noise for the same reason but we still like to think that way.. Before Worldwar II there was a habit to discharge firearms and burn wood to make a light & sound at 31 december, in every harbour the emergency rockets and flares lighted up the skies. After WW2 setting off firearms to celebrate the new year became obsolete, very slowly the use of fireworks became a habit. Ofcourse the Netherlands lay quite in ruins after WW2, there was a short of everything but in the 1950s the wealthier citizens could afford them self a few pyrotechnic items to lighten up New Year's Eve festivities. Later on, in the end sixties with the increasing prosperity, fireworks became extremly popular among the dutch people; with that huge demand the importers went to China to avoid the expensive ‘Made in Holland’ of Germany fireworks. The Chinese delivered our beloved fireworks faster, cheaper and often with a higher quality. After that, in the seventies there was no turning back, the dutch became gunpowder addicts and spent yearly millions of dollars on consumer fireworks.

Born in 1968 I grew up in the 70s/80s, at that time, with no computers, X-box, internet and a thousand channels on the TV, there was from October to March nothing but Christmas, New Year's eve and most important fireworks. To hold on to this most beautiful time of year we kept all kinds of fireworks related things, rocket sticks,  fountain bases, ordering lists and of course labels. In the early morning we patrolled the streets in search of firework remains, at home we separated the labels from the bodies in buckets warm water. After the Christmas holiday’s we took the labels to school to show them to our friends. Now, some 40 years later about 99% of my fellow collectors has put the label collection away as waste paper, Only a few collections survived to this day, these are the foundation of this website.

 

Besides my own collection, the label gallery shows also labels of Maurijn, Jan and Rob, again; a big thanks! The section ‘Modern labels' include contemporary examples, many of them are  around 10 years old. Of course most modern artwork on fireworks is not very  pretty but with them the site covers 40 years of artwork on fireworks. The boundary between "classic" and "modern" is at about 1995, in those years the characteristic Chinese labels began to disappear to make way for more modern artwork. Everything changed in de mid 90s.

 

The total of all categories makes this site one of the largest digital label collections in the world. The label gallery offers a complete picture of fireworks items in Holland (and Europe) from the seventies to the present. Do you have 'something' with fireworks and want to see your favorite label from your childhood? You've come to the right place.

Enjoy this site!