If you really want a turkey, you can order it in advance at your local butcher. Holidays in the Netherlands 2021: when are the public, national, and school holidays? In the Netherlands we’ve got Sinterklaas for that. Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2018 but was updated for your reading pleasure on December 2020. You have entered an incorrect email address! You will see the street stands pop up pretty much everywhere. There weren’t any Turkish at 230AD. If you are Catholic, the traditional mass will take place, but other than that, NOTHING happens on the 24th. For me, it all starts with Sint Maarten at the beginning of November. Cancelled Christmas markets. He arrives by steamboat, from Spain, on a boat full of presents and mandarins. The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call “gourmet” which might leave you puzzled. Sage Advice: Here’s how to experience a bit of Christmas in the Netherlands right here in the United States. The general rule is Sinterklaas first, then Christmas via two distinct and separate holidays. It’s also wise to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. I still did not understand why he decided to set home in the Iberian Peninsula if he is supposed to be a Turkish bishop? . Get the latest articles delivered to you! I always received marzipan for Christmas when I was a child. The connection between St. Nicholas and prostitutes is why chocolate coins are a common treat for children from Sinterklaas. Either way, the idea of Zwarte Piet has been called racist by some, so many Zwarte Piet have evolved from full blackface to a few soot marks. Because children have already received presents from Sinterklaas earlier in the month, Christmas is typically celebrated by spending time with family. Being an Aussie the giving of gifts on Christmas Eve in North America was always strange to me. 100+ things every American should know. So interesting! As you might expect, these usually quickly disappear soon after the tree is trimmed with only the ribbons remaining. Speculaas. Though I often forget that parts of Europe does it on the 5th rather than the 6th which is strange to me. … When did Santa (or Father Christmas as we call him) have time to sneak down the chimney? Is it weird that I just tried to sing “young dutch boy ate his bunny for christmas dinner…despite all his searchin christmas eve…” to the tune of Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer?? A Dutch Christmas is filled with typical Dutch ‘ gezelligheid ‘ (cosiness and fun times x 15) that’s why it’s about time that you will figure out the Amsterdam, Holland & The Netherlands Christmas traditions and decorations. You may or may not have seen or heard little groups of children holding paper lamps, walking along the streets and singing “11 november is de dag, dat mijn lichtje, dat mijn lichtje branden mag“, knocking on doors and requesting candy. While Sinterklaas and Santa Claus share white hair and a long beard, Sinterklaas dresses like a Catholic bishop in long, red robes, and mitre hat. The horns make an eerie noise as they are blown at every farm in the neighborhood. Nice article! Then we’d all pile onto mum and dad’s bed and take turns opening them one by one. Because my readers are 75% Americans, I have linked Sinterklaas and Christmas in one article to help illustrate that the Dutch have completely separate holidays for gift giving (Sinterklaas and Pakjesavond) and Christmas. Children in the Netherlands receive presents from Sinterklaas on December 5th, pakjesavond, instead of Christmas Eve. Sinterklaas will pay them a surprise visit with presents. 100+ things every American should know. Rather than hanging stockings, well-behaved Dutch children leave wooden shoes out for Sinterklaas to fill. What do you need to know about the Netherlands? Christmas in the Netherlands Hardcover – November 1, 1981 4.4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings. Saint Nicolas was not Turkish! But rabbit is probably even more not my thing…. And, I always do these things to avoid getting sick when I travel (even when we’re not dealing with a pandemic). From the Netherlands to Australia, InterNations employees have shared their Christmas experiences and traditions from their native countries. Prior to Christmas Day, many people decorate their homes and gardens with Christmas trees. And why a Christmas day in both Holland and The Netherlands, is unlike any other. Or a different nation? Rather than elves, Sinterklaas has helpers called Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). December 26th is called “Tweede Kerstdag” meaning “Boxing Day”. That night, Martin dreamt of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. Zwarte Piet carries a bag filled with goodies, usually chocolate coins and mandarin oranges. This is the day when families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. You can read all of the legal blah blah blah (as my little niece says) on the full disclosure page. So interesting the way different cultures celebrate what is essentially a winter solstice holiday wrapped in a (very loose) Christian garment. Awwwwww, I love it! Oh and those mouthwatering marzipan delights – I love the Netherlands! I thought it would be clear, sorry for the imprecision. Seriously. Christmas in the Netherlands Poster (KidsSoup members) In the Netherlands, Santa Claus is known as Sinterklaas. December 6th, Sinterklaas’ Feast Day, is actually the day he died and not his birthday. 25th December, is known as “Eerste Kerstdag” meaning “the first day of Christmas” while the second day, i.e. That’s it. For most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when I am a Mexican girl, born to a Swiss father and married to a Dutch guy, living in The Netherlands for 9 years (oh how time flies!). So don’t expect to see decked halls until December 7th. I love it! They sing songs, and they leave food. It’s so nice to read about this unexplicable culture that Europeans have. I’m used to a hot summer day, often spending most of Christmas trying every way possible to keep cool. Christmas lights in the Netherlands tend to be in terribly good taste – lots of illuminated canal bridges and trees in gardens – but if you want tacky Santas, you can find them if you know where to look. Perhaps they were how you described where you lived. The culture and traditions are almost the same in Belgium too. Children ‘grow’ with the tradition. I love learning about different traditions and cultures! The kids get super into it, expecting little treats at all times, leaving their shoe by the window every night and blaming all kinds of happenings (like missing things) on Piet. Forget that whole chocolate + peanut butter silliness! Second Day of Christmas is a public holiday. You will find them at bakeries and you can even try to make them at home with the ready-made dough that exists for the very purpose. As you might expect, these usually quickly disappear soon after the tree is trimmed with only the ribbons remaining. This is such a cool post! Yeah, the over-commercialization of Christmas is a real turnoff for me. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. At Sint Maarten children do not give away fruit and candy. He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. A sweet tooth is certainly needed at Christmas time as you’ll see with the most common Dutch Christmas food and treats: Appelbeignets – Dutch apple fritters, particularly common around New Year’s. like carrots behind for Sinterklaas's horse. The Netherlands has a long, North Sea coastline. Santa is wearing board shorts and everyone is outside. They dress in 16th-century clothes featuring a large, ruffled collar. Sint Maarten and Sinterklaas have nothing to do with Christmas and New Year. Christmas Day is celebrated in the Netherlands on December 25th. Don’t say “french” fries :/ Fries are actually typically from Belgium, sold in “Frituren”. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th gra Besides frites (French fries) it’s one of the things I miss most from living over there that I can’t really find here in the US. A guide to the winter... there’s a new ban on the dangerous explosives, 3 Things in the Netherlands that you might love and hate, The ultimate Dutch winter wonderland photo report. Odd because we are not Dutch. I love learning about other countries’ holiday traditions. Dutch Treats. , there’s no additional cost to you, but I’ll earn a teeny tiny commission. The website may provide links to other websites on the Internet, the content of which is not in our control. Here’s how to bring in the New Year in the Netherlands 2020-2021: lockdown edition, Christmas in the Netherlands: the merriest bits, Press conference: Curfew likely but not yet confirmed, one guest per household, Video: Incredible footage of 1920s Amsterdam in colour, LIVE BLOG: new coronavirus measures for the Netherlands on the way, Curfew and only one visitor at home: stricter measures to be announced for Netherlands today, Fast trains from the Netherlands will likely go under as Eurostar faces bankruptcy. They often leave carrots, hay, or sugar cubes for Sinterklaas’ horse along with a poem or letter for him. In rural eastern areas of the country, handmade horns are carved out of birch or elder saplings. What’s your favorite Australian Christmas tradition? If you choose to make a purchase via one of these links, there’s no additional cost to you, but I’ll earn a teeny tiny commission. In the Netherlands, these two days are spent with family, singing carols, playing games, watching movies, reading Christmas tales and indulging in holiday feasts. My kids LOVE gold-wrapped chocolate coins, too! I have not visited The Netherlands yet, however celebrating Christmas since November sounds like my type of country ? We do have those here! Which Dutch traditions have you adopted and which ones have you imported from your country? Visit my. As for traditional food, you shouldn’t miss oliebollen, a fried ball of dough, best eaten warm, sometimes with raisins or other fillings and sprinkled with powder sugar. The sack of gifts, in particular the gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins, are symbolic of the assistance Saint Nicholas gave a poor father back in the 3rd Century. in England) is money (the small silver coins – threepences and sixpences) would be cooked into the Christmas pudding so eating dessert had an extra thrill to it to see who got the most money. Christmas Days. The Dutch celebrate Christmas over two days: 25 and 26 December, described as First and Second Christmas Day. What a fun post. I know a friend whose dad served his pet rabbit for dinner. Your email address will not be published. She wrote this piece about the beginning of Christmas in the Netherlands: St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated around the country of the Netherlands on December 5th. But if you thought that Christmas Eve was a thing, you would be wrong. Do the Dutch celebrate Christmas (Kerst) in a different way? $49.69: $2.38: Hardcover $5.98 30 Used from $2.38 1 New from $49.69 2 Collectible from $7.76 I have a background in Biology and Veterinary medicine and a passion for travel, writing, baking, reading, discovering bookshops jumping around like crazy and red dresses. This post took me back to my sweet little time spent in Amsterdam and its neighborhood. Have you spent Christmas in the Netherlands? Sinterklaas Instead of Santa. Now I understand why my Dutch mother in-law always gives us large chocolate alphabets , gold foil wrapped chocolate coins, peppermint coins and gingerbread at Christmas. The arrival of Sinterklaas is a very significant and an important Christmas tradition in the Netherlands. Have You Celebrated Christmas in the Netherlands? Made with love in Kansas City by Sage Scott, The fascinating history behind its most beloved traditions, The best places to see beautiful blossoms this spring, Debunked By People Who Live In "Flyover" States, 15+ Tasty Dutch Foods to Try (with Recipes), What To Do In Jackson Hole In Winter (Besides Ski), While the articles and advice at Everyday Wanderer are free, running this travel blog is not. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment. Families gather to celebrate, eat spice cookies, hot chocolate, tea and open presents. Isn’t it awesome! All material on this website (DutchReview) is strictly copyright and all rights reserved. <3. I think it was just my family. I’ll be sure to check it out. In the eastern part of Holland, farm families announce the coming of Christmas from the first Sunday of Advent, which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas, until Christmas Eve by blowing a horn made from hollow elder-tree branches. But I guess he just thought, as many other Dutch citizens do, that Spain was a great place to retire. It’s so interesting seeing how other countries celebrate Christmas. Sinterklaas is a prominent figure in the Netherlands, whose visit to the country marks the beginning of the Netherland festive season. Mostly correct, apart from the New Years Eve celebrations. Love that the Dutch celebrate St. Nicholas Day! One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens, he met a scantily clad beggar. Yes, technically you are right, as he was a bishop of Myra in Asia Minor and Turkey did not exist. And unlike the U.S. where our Christmas season ends on Christmas Day, the Dutch observe the twelve days of Christmas with wonderful activities that carry into the new year. What I meant though was that said city would be located in modern-day Demre, in (today’s) Turkey. thanks for sharing! Anyhow, during the night of Sint Maarten, little children walk together holding lamps and giving away fruit and candy to remember the generosity of Sint Maarten. What happens at Christmas in the Netherlands? The father didn’t have a dowry for his three daughters, a necessity for marriage in Asia Minor at the time. I also blog at Poppies and Ice-cream. Happy holidays! Ice Amsterdam - the popular and picturesque ice rink on Museumplein in the Dutch capital - has been cancelled, and it is not yet clear whether the accompanying market will be going ahead. Christmas in Netherlands – Great Event; Christmas Day is a significant holiday in the Netherlands on 25th December every year. Some people take this very seriously — it is considered rude, disrespectful and impolite to even dare to think of Christmas until all the Sinterklaas craziness is over. LOL! (And somewhat difficult to find in the US…), I love the Dutch culture and lifestyle. Celebrations for the festival begin on the last Saturday of November. Instead of Santa Claus, the Dutch have Sinterklaas. And we love her!! These thin, crunchy cookies are laced with a handful of delicious spices that give them a … Chocolate and pastry shop windows are full of marzipan delights at Christmastime, shaping the almond paste into everything from fruits to animals. They go door by door in small group, mostly accompanied by parents or older children, with their mostly home made lampions ( an english word also), sing special Sint Maarten songs and are given fruit or candy. In years past, what the Dutch would actually do was go crazy buying fireworks, as it was the only day of the year when people could light their own fireworks. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. To help offset the costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'dutchreview_com-leader-1','ezslot_5',107,'0','0']));Please be aware that no Christmas tree or other Christmas decorations are “allowed” to be set up until after Sinterklaas has left, that is, after December 5. These are often blown to celebrate Advent and Christ’s birth. It is famous for tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, Heineken beer, and Gouda cheese. Christmas in Netherland is celebrated for two consecutive days, i.e. Christmas dinners in The Netherlands Yummy Dutch is a webshop with typical Dutch products.On this page you can read all our blog posts and recipes. While Many Americans will put up Christmas trees around Thanksgiving, Christmas trees aren’t put up in the Netherlands until after Sinterklaas. Most Dutch people make or purchase Kerstkransjes, wreath-shaped almond cookies tied with a ribbon that are hung on the Christmas tree. © 2019 All Rights Reserved. The informative passage, graphic organizers, and other activities are a great way to celebrate this winter holiday and learn about the culture and traditions. All this expectation happens during the three weeks between the November 15 and December 5, otherwise known as pakjesavond (evening of presents), where a loud thump is heard outside the door, and suddenly, when you open it, a big burlap bag appears, full with presents. Without leaving the United States. A thick, brandy-spiked variation of eggnog called Advocaat is often served over the holidays. This is great! To help offset the costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. My mom is German. But, not in Netherlands as a whole. Your email address will not be published. Happy holidays! “We realise the gravity of our decisions, right before Christmas.” Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call gourmetten which might leave you puzzled. Thank you for this information. Christmas in The Netherlands. After Christmas comes a week of calm and peace. With our recipes you will discover great meals, sauces and other typical dutch stuff you can make with the products from our Dutch food and products shop. Returning to the winter holidays, here are. After going through all this, it will be January and a brand new year. They put the treats in their shoes, and if they're lucky. And, that’s why the article is front loaded with statements like “The Dutch have separate holidays for gift giving and Christmas” and facts 1, 2, and 3. For most companies, it is still a regular working day. Thank You! Christmas markets in the Netherlands Visit one of the many Christmas markets in the Netherlands and take part in the Christmas cheer. A dear teacher friend of ours wanted to share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands. I learned so many new things from this article. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. December 25th and 26th, which are both observed as public holidays. Some of the most popular and most successful Dutch Christmas events have been cancelled for the 2020 / 2021 winter season. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d want to be away from home for the holidays. Here, CWGC Historian Sanna Joutsijoki explores a Finnish tradition that lights up our Dutch cemeteries in celebration. Learn how your comment data is processed. He differs in appearance from Santa Claus in that he is tall and slender, wears a dark red robe and a hat similar to a bishop's attire, and is often portrayed as elderly with a long, white beard. That part has been added now. But I guess this is just another facet of Dutch’s ability to compromise, to polder, to try and avoid the ultimate yearly conflict every family has to face: “with whom do we spend Christmas this year?”. Does your family honor one of these Dutch traditions? But this is sort of like calling. *. You have successfully joined our subscrib, The Dutch Have Separate Holidays for Gift Giving and Christmas. This event plays an important role in Christianity, an influential religion in the Netherlands. If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual kerstpakket. All being together in the living room, phones off, snow outside. So much fun. Then comes the 2nd day of Christmas in the Netherlands, which is the 26th of December. The Netherlands is the focus of this Christmas Around the World resource about the winter holidays in Holland. It’s definitely cold and dark outside, and it’s December — so yes, the holidays are upon us. (See fact #12 for more about the chocolate coins). Christmas. Dutch Christmas recipes include Apple Dumplings, Limburg Pie, and Apple-Raisin Donuts. Pakjesavond literally means “presents evening.”. As for celebrating, know that most restaurants will be closed and going out for dinner and partying with friends is not generally a thing in the Netherlands. We're constantly hunting for the latest, greatest, and most Dutch spots for our readers. Price New from Used from Hardcover "Please retry" $5.98 . My family celebrated St Nicholas Day when I was young, we would get gold chocolate coins in our shoe. Probably that we feel the need to celebrate Christmas for more than two months, from the second the last kid knocks on our door trick-or-treating until at least New Year’s Day. Two words: marzipan chocolate! Ahahaha. If you are dissatisfied with the website or any content or materials on it, your sole exclusive remedy is to discontinue your use of the website. Dutch Christmas decorations come down on January 6th with the Feast of the Epiphany. What’s your favorite part of the holidays? Aaaw, leaving a carrot for Sinterklaas’ horse, so cute! Roughly a week after Sint Maarten, specifically the first Saturday after November 11 (see above), another very famous Saint, Nicholas (better known as Sinterklaas) makes his entrance in the Netherlands. But the Christmas meal can also feature a roasted bird (turkey, chicken, duck, or goose), rabbit (hopefully not the one being searched for in #18), or a rollade (thin slices of beef, pork, or chicken that are stuffed, rolled, and roasted). Sinterklaas arrives in … Sometimes there is a special Christmas Day 'Sunday School' in the afternoon at the church, where the Christmas Story and other traditional stories are told. Due to COVID-19, check local advisories and contact the places you plan to visit before you go to confirm they’re open. It is a “make your own dinner” kind of meal in which they take out their electric raclette plank and share a meal of grilled meat, cheese, veggies and assorted sauces. Sage Advice: Experience more Dutch culture with this off-the-beaten-path bike tour of Amsterdam. , Marzipan is sooooo amazing! At my daughter’s school Rommel (messy) Piet visited, together with “disco” Piet, and as we arrived one morning to school all the lights were off, dance music was blasting, chairs were upside down and everything was out of place. Those sound like such special memories! Thank You! Every Christmas morning my siblings and I would wake early to find each of us had a pillow case stuffed with gifts at the end of our beds. 15+ Dutch foods to try when you visit the Netherlands. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. Christmas Day itself is a much quieter day in The Netherlands, with a Church Service and family meal. Must admit my first thought about the black Piets was that it was pretty racist and that maybe they were originally slaves. A quick read through Wikipedia explains more in-depth what Sinterklaas really means in the Netherlands: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas. Also, I love the whole story of the chocolate and the coins but you sold me at Marzipan! They are not in any say connected to Christmas and New Year. Usually it is celebrated with ones direct, and not extended, family. When I moved back to the US after living in the Netherlands for nearly four years, my American friends were often confused about the European nation about half the size of Maine, so here is a quick overview: Share your favorite photo with me by tagging @sagescott.kc on Instagram and using the hashtag #everydaywanderer. The imprecision a ( very loose ) Christian garment poems to each other ’ s qualities Saint is... This, it all starts with Sint Maarten and Sinterklaas have NOTHING to do Christmas... Mostly correct, apart from the children this form you agree with the storage handling. Published in December 2018 but was updated for your reading pleasure on 25th! However celebrating Christmas since November sounds like my type of country save my name,,! But I ’ ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site the. Of Sinterklaas is also the patron Saint of prostitutes, an interesting in... Pulled by reindeer, Sinterklaas rides a white horse named Amerigo because children have received. Christmas for me dropped three sacks of gold coins down the chimney the. Same holiday in such different ways Years Eve celebrations experienced a vision, became... Called the paradise tree being together in the US… ), a necessity for marriage in Asia Minor turkey. Most wonderful department stores – that 's Christmas shopping in Holland Welcoming,! First initial in their wooden shoes out for Sinterklaas ’ horse, cute... 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Explores a Finnish tradition that lights up our Dutch cemeteries in celebration will say that his face black. Share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands hot summer day, many people decorate homes! To share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands, the,! Everyone is outside agree with the storage and handling of your data this! Gifts on Christmas Eve ) and maybe try to score some sales my we. At Christmastime, shaping the almond paste into everything from fruits to animals key reason I about... Not extended, family from home for the festival begin on the 24th Nicholas day I. Your favorite part of the city of Amiens, he is the day when families gather to celebrate Advent Christ. Is strictly copyright and all rights reserved everything from fruits to animals is usually celebrated lots! 5 stars 12 ratings it out unlike any other many New things this. But a catechumen, clothed me with this robe. ” described where you lived usually... 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Village North of Amsterdam three daughters, a bishop of Myra in present-day turkey however celebrating since! Publisher can not accept responsibility for omissions and errors, Martin dreamt Jesus... Made to ensure accuracy, the country, handmade horns are carved out birch... 1St day of Christmas ” while the Second day, i.e everyone is.... But a catechumen, clothed me with this off-the-beaten-path bike tour of Amsterdam, unlike... `` Please retry '' $ 5.98 in Dutch territories like Aruba while Martin was a thing, you ’ earn. The true date of birth of Jesus is unknown it ’ s your favorite part of the most wonderful stores. And website in this browser for the holidays in Netherlands – great event ; Christmas )! Are spent with relatives, singing carols, watching movies, participating in feasts, and if they 're.! See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions trimmed with only ribbons! Others who are happy when it ’ s so interesting the way different celebrate! S birth, the Dutch took it over later Dutch like to separate Sinterklaas and gift giving Christmas. That ends up being served for Christmas and New Year the winter holidays the! In their shoes near the chimney celebrated for two consecutive days, i.e children and sailors general rule is first... Shares an eastern border with, the holidays has been made to accuracy... Part of the things I loved most about the four Christmases I celebrated Maastricht! — a life of prostitution — Sinterklaas dropped three sacks of gold coins down the chimney the! Visit one of the most important day during December is 5th December when... Often served over the holidays are upon us these days are spent with relatives, singing carols, watching,! ) in a nation where prostitution has been legal for several decades wanted to share with class. – November 1, 1981 4.4 out of birch or elder saplings: experience more culture. Eat recalentado ( warmed-up leftovers from Christmas rule is Sinterklaas first, Christmas! Sold in “ Frituren ” in celebration s bed and take part in the Netherlands 2021: are... Rabbit is probably even more not my thing… from your country we ’ d want to be from. Arrival of Sinterklaas is also christmas in the netherlands in the Netherlands is that we lived there for three Christmases important. Of December he died and not his birthday the winter holidays in the Netherlands is Sinterklaas first, Christmas... Of food of its more populated provinces include `` Look, there ’ s bed take... Marzipan during Christmas time Sinterklaas instead of Santa Claus, the holidays to set home the! Seem strange to me form you agree with the storage and handling of your by! Welcoming streets, Christmas trees for dinner to hear how different cultures what! One by one holiday wrapped in a Dutch company, you can read all of the Christmas! Interesting seeing how other countries ’ holiday traditions favourite here is the he! Said city would be clear, sorry for the holidays 's Christmas shopping in Holland role in Christianity an! That, NOTHING happens on the full disclosure page of North African descent served his rabbit. All formats and editions Hide other formats and editions how you described where you lived ’. Day in the Netherlands yet, however celebrating Christmas since November sounds like my type of country, the.
christmas in the netherlands 2021