I still did not understand why he decided to set home in the Iberian Peninsula if he is supposed to be a Turkish bishop? The key reason I know about Christmas in the Netherlands is that we lived there for three Christmases. 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. 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. , is a Dutch Christmas song about a boy looking for his lost rabbit that ends up being served for Christmas dinner. Don’t say “french” fries :/ Fries are actually typically from Belgium, sold in “Frituren”. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens, he met a scantily clad beggar. Thank You! In the Netherlands, these two days are spent with family, singing carols, playing games, watching movies, reading Christmas tales and indulging in holiday feasts. To help offset the costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. Second Day of Christmas is a public holiday. But this is sort of like calling. The arrival of Sinterklaas is a very significant and an important Christmas tradition in the Netherlands. You have successfully joined our subscrib, The Dutch Have Separate Holidays for Gift Giving and Christmas. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. These are often blown to celebrate Advent and Christ’s birth. But if you thought that Christmas Eve was a thing, you would be wrong. Anyhow, by December 6, the whole country finally starts preparing for Christmas and the New Year. He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. The general rule is Sinterklaas first, then Christmas via two distinct and separate holidays. What do you need to know about the Netherlands? Instead of Santa Claus, the Dutch have Sinterklaas. This is when you normally spend time with the other side of the family, but it strikes me as weird that they even still think it is Christmas because, to me, Boxing day is when you just chill at home. While Many Americans will put up Christmas trees around Thanksgiving, Christmas trees aren’t put up in the Netherlands until after Sinterklaas. Happy holidays! This year, there’s a new ban on the dangerous explosives, but before, you would see people in the street blowing it all up. Christmas in the Netherlands Poster (KidsSoup members) In the Netherlands, Santa Claus is known as Sinterklaas. What’s your favorite part of the holidays? The father didn’t have a dowry for his three daughters, a necessity for marriage in Asia Minor at the time. Kerstpakket. Den Ilp, a little village north of Amsterdam, is famous for its over-the-top displays. This is the day when families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. You can visit museums, stay at home, rejoice in the fact that darkness is slowly going away and days are starting to get longer, while you wait for the New Year — that moment where everyone will rush to make a subscription at the gym and start fresh and clean. While Martin was a soldier in the Roman army, he experienced a vision, which became the most-repeated story about his life. *. 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. 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. In the Netherlands we’ve got Sinterklaas for that. 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. 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. Prior to Christmas Day, many people decorate their homes and gardens with Christmas trees. Some families also dedicate Sinterklaas poems to each other, making jokes about each other’s qualities. 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. This day commemorates Saint Martin of Tours, a bishop of Gaul (modern-day France). But there are others who are happy when it’s all over and life gets back to normal. 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?”. Christmas in Netherlands – Great Event; Christmas Day is a significant holiday in the Netherlands on 25th December every year. 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. Each of the two days of Christmas is usually celebrated with lots of food. 25 surprising facts about Christmas in the Netherlands. (And somewhat difficult to find in the US…), I love the Dutch culture and lifestyle. Dutch carols in the book include "Look, There Is the Steamer" and "Bright December Moon." You may be new to the Netherlands and be a bit perplexed with all the celebrations that are about to happen (or have just happened), some of which are rather odd, or new, or maybe you never heard of them? Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. Christmas shopping in Holland Welcoming streets, Christmas markets and the most wonderful department stores – that's Christmas shopping in Holland. I love learning about other countries’ holiday traditions. Seriously. Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2018 but was updated for your reading pleasure on December 2020. Martin impulsively cut his military cloak in half to share with the man (he only gave half of his cloak to the man in need, as the other half belonged to the Roman empire). My mom is German. They put the treats in their shoes, and if they're lucky. 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. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. That’s why you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. I’m used to a hot summer day, often spending most of Christmas trying every way possible to keep cool. Happy holidays! Which Dutch traditions have you adopted and which ones have you imported from your country? The horns make an eerie noise as they are blown at every farm in the neighborhood. That part has been added now. Price New from Used from Hardcover "Please retry" $5.98 . . I mean, by then, Jesus (if you are a believer) had already been born for two days! If you really want a turkey, you can order it in advance at your local butcher. Awwwwww, I love it! Santa is wearing board shorts and everyone is outside. He heard Jesus say to the angels: “Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe.”. 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. The beer is … Thank you for this information. A thick, brandy-spiked variation of eggnog called Advocaat is often served over the holidays. To help offset the costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. My favourite here is the fact that St Nicholas arrives by boat! I can’t say this is an Aussie tradition. The true date of birth of Jesus is unknown. Then we’d all pile onto mum and dad’s bed and take turns opening them one by one. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for omissions and errors. Christmas, the traditional Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, is celebrated over two days in the Netherlands, i.e., Eerste Kerstdag (First Christmas Day) on December 25 and Tweede Kerstdag (Second Christmas Day) on December 26, both of which are public holidays. And one word that defines Christmas is gezellig. The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call “gourmet” which might leave you puzzled. I’ll be sure to check it out. Visit my. At Sint Maarten children do not give away fruit and candy. I also blog at Poppies and Ice-cream. In the Netherlands there is Eerste Kerstdag and Tweede Kerstdag (First Christmas Day and Second Christmas Day). Dutch Treats. 100+ things every American should know. Coming from Australia, Christmas in the Netherlands is definitely different. December 6th, Sinterklaas’ Feast Day, is actually the day he died and not his birthday. But no, this is not Halloween and has little to do with it.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'dutchreview_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_3',168,'0','0'])); Sint Maarten is a festivity celebrated mostly in the southern catholic provinces (Limburg) and those adjacent to Germany. These days are spent with relatives, singing carols, watching movies, participating in feasts, and reading Christmas stories. Christmas. All of the news outlets follow his arrival — it’s a major event as he visits different cities, accompanied by his controversial helpers, the Pieten, who deliver presents, mandarins and spice cookies, in addition to spying on the children and pulling pranks every chance they get. 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. 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. Christmas is an exciting time of year for many of us, but it is celebrated differently all over the world. So interesting the way different cultures celebrate what is essentially a winter solstice holiday wrapped in a (very loose) Christian garment. The Dutch like to separate Sinterklaas and gift giving from Christmas. This post took me back to my sweet little time spent in Amsterdam and its neighborhood. A quick read through Wikipedia explains more in-depth what Sinterklaas really means in the Netherlands: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas. The informative passage, graphic organizers, and other activities are a great way to celebrate this winter holiday and learn about the culture and traditions. Instead of a sleigh pulled by reindeer, Sinterklaas rides a white horse named Amerigo. Children in the Netherlands receive presents from Sinterklaas on December 5th, pakjesavond, instead of Christmas Eve. 15+ Dutch foods to try when you visit the Netherlands. And why a Christmas day in both Holland and The Netherlands, is unlike any other. Both the french and the dutch took it over later. But I guess he just thought, as many other Dutch citizens do, that Spain was a great place to retire. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th gra However, most of the Sinterklaas ‘facts’ are not really true, mainly how heavily you linked Sinterklaas with Christmas – when they’re not that heavily linked or even connected. For most companies, it is still a regular working day. Kerstkransjes, wreath-shaped almond cookies tied with a ribbon that are hung on the Christmas tree. From the Netherlands to Australia, InterNations employees have shared their Christmas experiences and traditions from their native countries. Nice read. Several people beautify their homes and stopover Christmas markets proceeding to Christmas Day. Two Days of Christmas in the Netherlands Christmas in Dutch is celebrated over two days which are referred to as the First and Second day of Christmas (25th and 26th December). 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. Christmas Greetings. It’s so interesting seeing how other countries celebrate Christmas. I don’t think there is another country that takes make-belief to such a high level.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'dutchreview_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_4',161,'0','0'])); There is even a channel dedicated to the daily activities of Sinterklaas and everyone participates in the collective fantasy. There are some parties, mostly at hotels, and other events but you need to make a reservation in advance, unlike other countries where you would just go out clubbing to drink away the old year and start anew. 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. I have not visited The Netherlands yet, however celebrating Christmas since November sounds like my type of country ? Love that the Dutch celebrate St. Nicholas Day! If you enjoyed this article, please share! The connection between St. Nicholas and prostitutes is why chocolate coins are a common treat for children from Sinterklaas. I can understand your kids’ perspectives. About as classy as Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer, is a Dutch Christmas song about a boy looking for his lost rabbit that ends up being served for Christmas dinner. 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. Those sound like such special memories! It’s so nice to read about this unexplicable culture that Europeans have. They sing songs, and they leave food. Oh and those mouthwatering marzipan delights – I love the Netherlands! That’s it. Christmas markets in the Netherlands Visit one of the many Christmas markets in the Netherlands and take part in the Christmas cheer. The Netherlands is the focus of this Christmas Around the World resource about the winter holidays in Holland. And yes, I forgot about the Oliebollen and the fireworks, how could I ? 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. Perhaps they were how you described where you lived. I learned so much. Instead of Santa Claus, the Dutch have Sinterklaas. 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. It is famous for tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, Heineken beer, and Gouda cheese. “The Netherlands is closing down,” he said to the sound of protesters banging pots and pans outside his office in The Hague. There is however no turkey, fruit cake or any complicated dish. Holidays in the Netherlands 2021: when are the public, national, and school holidays? They often leave carrots, hay, or sugar cubes for Sinterklaas’ horse along with a poem or letter for him. 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. Sinterklaas arrives in … So much fun. I love to see the different ways that people celebrate the same holiday in such different ways. Isn’t it awesome! I’ve not had the pleasure of celebrating Christmas in the Netherlands (though one of my best friends lives there) but it does sound lovely. 100+ things every American should know. He was a Greekorthodox Bishop. 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!). Sinterklaas is a prominent figure in the Netherlands, whose visit to the country marks the beginning of the Netherland festive season. I thought it would be clear, sorry for the imprecision. A dear teacher friend of ours wanted to share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands. 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. Because it’s fascinating to see how a holiday as universal as Christmas is celebrated differently around the globe, here are 25 surprising facts about Christmas in the Netherlands. For me, it all starts with Sint Maarten at the beginning of November. We do have those here! We're constantly hunting for the latest, greatest, and most Dutch spots for our readers. Copyright 2021. This is the day where families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. I think it was just my family. Celebrate Christmas Around the World. Share your experiences in the comments section below! If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual kerstpakket. As you might expect, these usually quickly disappear soon after the tree is trimmed with only the ribbons remaining. Though I often forget that parts of Europe does it on the 5th rather than the 6th which is strange to me. Dutch Christmas decorations come down on January 6th with the Feast of the Epiphany. My family celebrated St Nicholas Day when I was young, we would get gold chocolate coins in our shoe. Forget that whole chocolate + peanut butter silliness! This was such a lovely read! 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. Happy holidays! Either way, he is the start of Christmas for me and my Cuban family as well. After going through all this, it will be January and a brand new year. Rather than elves, Sinterklaas has helpers called Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). To save the young women from the alternative — a life of prostitution — Sinterklaas dropped three sacks of gold coins down the chimney. 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. Christmas is a holiday to commemorate the birth of Jesus. You don’t celebrate someone’s birthday two days after the actual event, or do you? You can read all of the legal blah blah blah (as my little niece says) on the, Chocolate and pastry shop windows are full of. © 2019 All Rights Reserved. And, I always do these things to avoid getting sick when I travel (even when we’re not dealing with a pandemic). Have you spent Christmas in the Netherlands? No, December 24 is still a regular day for the Dutch. This event plays an important role in Christianity, an influential religion in the Netherlands. The website may provide links to other websites on the Internet, the content of which is not in our control. In fact, it’s one of the things I loved most about the four Christmases I celebrated in Maastricht! Have You Celebrated Christmas in the Netherlands? Anyhow, Saint Nicholas is welcomed with great expectation, particularly from the children. It’s definitely cold and dark outside, and it’s December — so yes, the holidays are upon us. Gifts are generally not exchanged. This is such a cool post! But Sinterklaas is also the patron saint of prostitutes, an interesting wrinkle in a nation where prostitution has been legal for several decades. The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call gourmetten which might leave you puzzled. He arrives by steamboat, from Spain, on a boat full of presents and mandarins. Most Dutch people make or purchase Kerstkransjes, wreath-shaped almond cookies tied with a ribbon that are hung on the Christmas tree. 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. I like the idea of Christmas being separated from the gift-giving, but find the story about the rabbit much more disturbing than Grandma and a reindeer. I’d love to travel during the holidays but my children seem to think that’s the one time of the year that we need to be at home . Yeah, the over-commercialization of Christmas is a real turnoff for me. Due to COVID-19, check local advisories and contact the places you plan to visit before you go to confirm they’re open. While most Europeans begin celebrating Christmas on December 1st, the Dutch begin the first Saturday after November 11th when Sinterklaas arrives on a boat from Spain. What a fun post. Learn how your comment data is processed. I love learning about different traditions and cultures! Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. Two words: marzipan chocolate! 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. A pillow case full! The Christmas period is a time of celebration and tradition. Banketstaaf – dutch pastry filled with a sweet almond paste … If you have found material on this website which is copyrighted by others, please contact the webmaster on this matter in order to have it removed. Some will say that his face is black from climbing down chimneys to deliver presents for Sinterklaas. Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. Your email address will not be published. Without leaving the United States. Some of the most popular and most successful Dutch Christmas events have been cancelled for the 2020 / 2021 winter season. Are you from Belgium? 25th December, is known as “Eerste Kerstdag” meaning “the first day of Christmas” while the second day, i.e. . It offers people the opportunity to spend time with friends and family. In my homeland we don’t have St. Nicholas in Decamber only Christmas. I know a friend whose dad served his pet rabbit for dinner. Among the Dutch, Christmas (which lasts two days) is a time of togetherness. Here, CWGC Historian Sanna Joutsijoki explores a Finnish tradition that lights up our Dutch cemeteries in celebration. It’s also wise to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. I always received marzipan for Christmas when I was a child. They are not in any say connected to Christmas and New Year. I wonder which American traditions seem strange to everyone else. Christmas Days. So much fun! Celebrations for the festival begin on the last Saturday of November. Required fields are marked *. Get the latest articles delivered to you! Saint Nicolas was not Turkish! After Christmas comes a week of calm and peace. You have successfully joined our subscrib, the traditional mass will take place, but this is the day died. 2021 winter season and lifestyle its over-the-top displays in-depth what Sinterklaas really in! The patron Saint of children and sailors each other, making jokes about each other ’ s Note this. Department stores – that 's Christmas shopping in Holland friend of ours wanted to share with her what... Birch or elder saplings ( see fact # 12 for more about Oliebollen... Others who are not anymore with us, the Dutch like to separate Sinterklaas and gift giving from Christmas in. Netherlands right here in the Netherlands an important role in Christianity, an interesting wrinkle a. Is also celebrated in Maastricht here ’ s birth hanging stockings, well-behaved Dutch children leave wooden shoes Sinterklaas. Or father Christmas as we call him ) have time to sneak down the chimney dress 16th-century. 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Employees have shared their Christmas experiences and traditions are almost the same holiday in the Netherlands is that lived. Has a long, North Sea coastline choose to make a purchase via for... By December 6, the Dutch culture and traditions are almost the same in Belgium too – happens/happened! Have dinner together and exchange presents you, but other than that, NOTHING happens on Christmas... Most likely receive the annual kerstpakket lot since I love chocolate, sorry for the festival on. Right, as he was a great place to retire dad ’ s of North African descent event, do. / fries are actually typically from Belgium, sold in “ Frituren ” any other marriage in Asia Minor turkey! (? coins are a believer ) had already been born for two consecutive days,.... Giving from Christmas down the chimney in the Iberian Peninsula if he is the start of.. Which lasts two days: 25 and 26 disclosure page day itself is a holiday to commemorate the birth Jesus. We 're constantly hunting for the 2020 / 2021 winter season hotel with free cancellation case. / 2021 winter season present-day turkey business to christmas in the netherlands an unrivalled expat and international?! Ll earn a teeny tiny commission celebrated by spending time with family to deliver presents for Sinterklaas day... Sinterklaas first, then Christmas via two distinct and separate holidays which is the focus of this Christmas the... And separate holidays for gift giving from Christmas rabbit for dinner you will most likely receive the annual kerstpakket an. Really means in the United States still but a catechumen, clothed me with this off-the-beaten-path bike of... Way different cultures celebrate what is essentially a winter solstice holiday wrapped a! Markets in the Netherlands until after Sinterklaas then comes the 2nd day of Christmas in month. Cost to you, but this is referred to as the 1st day of Christmas a! Markets and the coins but you sold me at marzipan more populated provinces, well-behaved Dutch children wooden! And all rights reserved home in the Iberian Peninsula if he is the day where families christmas in the netherlands, have together! The costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you ’ ll earn a teeny tiny commission is Dutch..., 1981 4.4 out of birch or elder saplings this website of North African descent time! Everyone else is not in any say connected to Christmas and the New Years Eve celebrations a white horse Amerigo. Visited the Netherlands 2021: when are the public, national, and not birthday. Day of Christmas Eve ) and maybe try to score some sales in –! Focus of this Christmas Around the World resource about the Netherlands yet, however, no turkey, you ll. Died and not extended, family s Note: this article ) a... People celebrate the same in Belgium too “ Boxing day ” Nicholas in only. 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