Do the Dutch celebrate Christmas (Kerst) in a different way? 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. Holiday Traditions of Netherlands Christmas is a joyful religious holiday when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Another custom is to place an Advent wreath in the living room with four red or yellow candles. time is the period of year when shopping roads are festooned with lights and sulk branches, creating a really pleasant family celebration! He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. Christmas in The Netherlands For most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) brings them their presents! Christmas traditions in Netherland is typically defined by celebration of birth of Jesus, family gatherings, good food and drinks, arrival of Santa and the exchange of gifts. Have a cookie A few food stores may be unbolt for a short period. It is consider that the recipe initiates from when the crusaders bring exotic dried fruits and flavors back to the Netherlands around 1200 CE. Although there are no candy canes, there are plenty of other goodies, such as oliebollen (a kind of an oily doughnut), Christmas stollen (round bread with currents and raisins), almond pastry rings, enough marzipan to last until next Christmas, and chocolate Christmas rings. Among the religious population, not all Christians knew the meaning of Christmas either. on one of these days. The factual date of birth of Jesus is unidentified. If you ask, many Dutch nationals will stress to you the superficiality of gift-giving at Christmas in the Netherlands. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, Christmas songs enhance the mood in shopping malls and restaurants. Streets can become very busy leading up to the big day, indicating that Christmas in the Netherlands has also not been immune to commercialism. Post offices, banks and several businesses are clogged. People who do not attend the services of church will defiantly visit on the very. In the Netherlands, Santa Claus is known as Sinterklaas.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. Sinterklaas looks an awful lot like a thin Santa Claus. The decorated Christmas tree has become widely popular since its introduction to the Netherlands in the 19th century. Usually rest of the day is celebrated calmly and peacefully with family and friends. During this drive, people are together in a car and have to follow a route that was thought of by an organisation. December 25th and 26th, which … This is a comfy mooch of bread with eggs, milk, sugar and dry fruit included into the dough and a roll of jagged marzipan baked in the center. Many expats staying through the Dutch Christmas season are thus pleasantly surprised by the familiarity of Dutch Christmas traditions while at the same time relieved, perhaps, of the absence of some of the more commercial traditions that go hand-in-hand with festivities back home. Sinterklaas First, Then Christmas. Information in this section describes how Christmas is celebrated in a normal year. Farmers use long horns made from the wood of elder trees, and everyday at dawn they blow the horn while standing over a well to announce the coming of Christ. The International Student’s Guide To Dutch Christmas Traditions 1. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. If you are planning to eat out, remember it is always wise – just to be on the safe side – to make reservations far in advance. In mid-November, St. Nicholas, known there as Sinterklaas, arrives via steamship from Spain for two weeks of celebrations leading up to the eve of his birthday, December 5, when Dutch families and friends exchange gifts.. They call the 25th and 26th December ‘First’ and ‘Second’ Christmas Day and will often spend time with their families on either or both days, celebrating with the traditional Christmas foods of meat and vegetables, with extras unique to the Dutch thrown in. As the December celebrations come and go, families, shops and businesses file away their Sinterklaas paraphernalia and immediately dust off the previous year’s Dutch Christmas decorations. They also eat baked vegetables along with mashed potatoes. Don’t feel alarmed if you’re presented with a number of small uncooked pieces of meat - for Christmas in the Netherlands, everyone sits down at the dining room table and cooks their own food. No Christmas … If two Santas sound confusing, this guide will help you prepare for the Dutch Christmas season and understand Dutch Christmas traditions, from Sinterklaas to Kerstman. A dear teacher friend of ours wanted to share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands. At numerous places on entire globe Christmas is famous for cakes, gifts, decorations and yes!!! On Christmas Eve Dutch people once again exchange gifts, but this time without the guidance of Sinterklaas. In fact, Sinterklaas is much more popular than the Kerstman. 21-feb-2020 - Celebrate Christmas in Amsterdam, Holland & The Netherlands with insider tips by a Dutch local. … The Dutch family unit is notably important and this is especially highlighted over the Dutch Christmas period. Christmas in Netherland is celebrated for two consecutive days, i.e. The Christmas celebration is a consequence of Christian power on pre-Christian frost festivals detained in the locale that is now the Netherlands and most of Europe. Eating out at Christmas did become extremely popular in past years, but tougher economic circumstances meant the mid-range to lower spectrum of the restaurant industry reported a drop in Christmas custom. The Dutch like to put up Christmas trees and decorate their houses, give gifts and gather with family for a meal. You might find a horn for sale at one of the Dutch Christmas markets across the country, where it might also be possible to stop a while and watch an old craftsman at work. Public transportation services may run to a festival schedule or not run at all. St. Nicholas' Day is on the 6th December, but in The Netherlands, the major … Of Dutch Reformed churchgoers, 23% got it wrong, compared with 16% of Dutch Presbyterians and 26% of Roman Catholics. In early November families also await the start of the annual Sinterklaasjournal children’s program. Lights, candles, wreaths, poinsettias, and trees are strung during Christmas in the Netherlands, hung, tacked, taped, and placed in every available space. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. He arrives by boat from Spain to a different Dutch city every year in an event broadcast live on television. Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. Research has shown that people thought spending time with Dutch family was the most important part of Christmas in the Netherlands, followed by eating good food and attending church. The people of Netherlands enjoy various traditional delicacies in the Christmas dinner. 3. It offers people the opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Several people beautify their homes and stopover Christmas markets proceeding to Christmas Day. An admired treat in tardy December is Christmas stolen (kerststol). On December 5, people in the Netherlands celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) eve. And for dessert, there is usually some sort of pudding, followed by a cup of warm hot chocolate with whipped cream. Creating the horn to actually make noise is a trick requiring plenty of practice! The Dutch love their trees – in fact they love Christmas decorations in general. In a few places, mainly rural regions, there may be no public transport. Christmas in the Netherlands Poster (KidsSoup members). Despite the arrival of Sinterklaas earlier in the month, a second bearded man, also dressed in red, makes his way to the Netherlands on Christmas Eve. An angel appeared to shepherds and told them that a Savior had been born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. Kerstpakket. The horns make an eerie noise as they are blown at every farm in the neighborhood. While the Dutch don’t refer to the day after Christmas as Boxing Day, they do retain the tradition of the Christmas box or package (kerstpakket). Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. Although there are many traditions associated with Christmas are similar in different homes of same nation even in different nations also. The arrival of Santa does not necessarily mean that presents will be shared in every Dutch household. He’s a jolly … 1. Because of the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic, many of the ways that Christmas is celebrated around the world might be different this year. Instead, Christmas in the Netherlands means these two days are spent with family, singing carols, playing games, watching movies, reading Christmas tales, and indulging in holiday feasts. Smaller gifts are usually given during the holiday and it is generally a low-key affair that revolves around a cosy family dinner. Dutch Christmas food was traditionally dominated by ingredients such as spices, white flour, dried fruits, almonds, and sugar, all the historically expensive foods that were typically reserved for feast days, parties and special holidays. Habits, mentality and the way of living. Merry Christmas Wishes For Father, Christmas 2020 Quotes & Messages For DAD, Inspirational Christmas Thoughts 2020, Merry Christmas Thought, Funny Happy Xmas Thoughts, Merry Christmas Images, Christmas Pictures 2020, Happy Xmas HD Photos For Whatsapp & Facebook. It is a superior idea for public wishing to journey by public transport to check schedule for all parts of the roads cautiously before setting out. Speculaas. Sinterklaas, The Castrated Rooster. The Christmas period in Holland. You may change your settings at any time. While food is an essential ingredient in Christmas in the Netherlands, family is the secret additive that makes this holiday traditional. Serve it up with coffee. Today there are still some sweet treats and cookies that are only eaten during the festive season, including kruidnoten (ginger nuts), advocaat (egg-yolk liquer) and bischopswijn (Dutch mulled wine), although the spiced biscuit speculaas tends to eaten year-round these days. Flappie was the creation of Dutch comedian Youp van ‘t Hek, and the song follows the story of a young boy looking for a lost rabbit, which tragically turns out to be Christmas dinner. There is however no turkey, fruit cake or any complicated dish. In Amsterdam, for instance, the night begins with an explosive round of fireworks throughout the city around 11pm at main squares such as Dam Square, Leidseplein, and Rembrandtplein, which are full of festivities. Typically, the Dutch will forgo the traditional Christmas roast, and opt for what is called gourmetten. At numerous places on entire globe Christmas is famous for cakes. People who do not attend the services of church will defiantly visit on the very day of Christmas. Yes, the good-natured spirit of Christmas in the Netherlands is alive and well. The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call “gourmet” which might leave you puzzled. As it is said earlier also people of same republican have their own different ways to celebrate or rejoice the day. The Dutch also celebrate by eating gourmetten, a hot plate on which diners place a set of mini pans containing their choice of meat or vegetables. You will also find the more usual Dutch Christmas songs: You can find music and English translations here. Amsterdam is a city without prejudice, a city of free and open-minded people. One Dutch Christmas song is about a dead rabbit. Dutch Christmas dinners usually consist of venison, goose, hare, or turkey with plenty of vegetables and Kerstbrood (Christmas bread). Christmas traditions in the Netherlands Events Sightseeing Amsterdam tips 30 November, 2020 As it is in many countries, so in the Netherlands: Christmas is a time for family. A small difference you might note? Many people organize big feast on the day in different ways a luxurious breakfast, comfy brunch or classy dinner. They also eat the special Christmas bread which is known as Kerstbrood. While it may seem similar to what you know, Christmas is not about Santa Claus and reindeer in the Netherlands. But there are also families who exchange gifts at Sinterklaas‘ birthday and at Christmas – it depends on where you live. Beforehand, many households set up Christmas trees and cover their living rooms in kitsch decorations. They then organize and eat a lavish meal and may join a particular church service on Christmas Day. This occasion plays a vital role in Christianity, a powerful religion in the … Christmas in Netherlands – Great Event; Christmas Day is a significant holiday in the Netherlands on 25th December every year. The Zwarte Piet character is part of the annual Feast of St. Nicholas that is celebrated on the evening of 5 December (Sinterklaasavond, which is known as St. Nicholas' Eve in English) in the Netherlands, Suriname, Aruba, and Curaçao.This is when presents and sweets are traditionally distributed to children. The month of December is a very pleasant time in Holland. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. Of course deserts. Sinterklaas. Several people beautify their homes and stopover Christmas markets proceeding to Christmas Day. Your choices will not impact your visit. The unique tradition here includes Sinterklaas Avond which is celebrated annually on December 5 as St. Nicholas’ birthday. Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. It offers people the opportunity to spend time with friends and family. As they say Merry Christmas in Dutch, Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Required fields are marked *, Christmas In Netherlands, Celebration And Traditions Of Christmas In Netherlands. Let’s not forget the end-of-year bash, New Year’s Eve (Oud en Nieuw) in the Netherlands, when crowds, especially younger generations, head for the central squares of the larger cities. Don’t be confused though, because the second arrival is the one most expats will be accustomed to, namely Santa Claus (Kerstman in Dutch). In fact, many Dutch residents will attend church on Christmas Eve night, but research also indicates that family get-togethers get higher priority. Sinterklaas Avond. It’s a public holiday on Christmas Day. But Sinterklaas doesn't come alone. On 25th December, public life is usually very calm. Christmas Traditions in the Netherlands Christmas is a holiday to honor the birth of Jesus. You can check the website of your local municipality for a list of events. You’ll heard Dutch Christmas songs played on radio stations and in shopping centers weeks leading up to Christmas day. As soon as Sinterklaas leaves, the streets and shops are decorated with lights and Christmas trees. There are some differences, however, that expats notice when celebrating Dutch Christmas traditions, not least the arrival of another red-suited, white-bearded man known as Sinterklass (Saint Nicholas), who instead is sombre and surrounded by controversial blackface helpers, known as Zwarte Piet, which some international bodies are pushing for change. Many people will also display a nativity scene with their Dutch Christmas decorations. Banketstaaf – dutch pastry filled with a sweet almond … A more recent tradition is to give children a special calendar (or Advent calendar) helping them count down to Christmas in the Netherlands. Of all the Dutch Christmas traditions, music is as much a part of Dutch Christmas as good food and a twinkling Christmas tree. Your email address will not be published. This occasion plays a vital role in Christianity, a powerful religion in the Netherlands. Foreigners will feel at home listening to many English-language Christmas classic songs, although the Dutch have created a small market of their own Dutch Christmas songs. Christmas comes early to the good children of the Netherlands. The people prefer eating the meat of Goose and Turkey. A number of restaurants are opened and others are closed. Pakjesavond is for Presents (Not Christmas Eve) Children in the Netherlands receive presents from Sinterklaas on December 5th, pakjesavond , ... 2. Though, restaurants that are unlocked may be packed with people who kept a unique Christmas meal in advance. People protesting the Dutch tradition of "Black Pete" turn their backs to a holiday parade in the Netherlands. One traditional festivity in the Netherlands is the feast of Sinterklaas. It is celebrated on the evening before Sinterklaas’ birthday on December 5, especially in families with little children. So despite the fact that some 50 percent of the Dutch celebrate Christmas in the Netherlands with presents – and is a growing custom – Santa is still typically second place in comparison with Sinterklaas. The tradition evolved here (as it did in the UK), from a gift of food for farm workers to take home to their families after Christmas, to an annual gift for tradesmen. Christmas time is the period of year when shopping roads are festooned with lights and sulk branches, creating a really pleasant family celebration! This is an eve... 2. The holiday is celebrated on 6 December in Belgium. People loved to eat yummy and tasty cakes, pastries, ice-cream, etc. The feast of Saint Nicolas is celebrated on 5 December and far from being threatened by his cousin from the North Pole, the tradition of Sinterklaas is rising in popularity. The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday and an additional candle is lit each following Sunday. For example, a long-time tradition among farmers in the rural east is the ‘mid-winter horn blowing’. ‘After Sinterklaas, a Dutch tradition with a Santa Claus lookalike on 5 December, we buy a Christmas tree for our houses. A Dutch Christmas is similar to the experience in other western, predominantly-Christian countries: Christmas in the Netherlands is typified by family gatherings, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the eating of fine food and drink and in some – but not all families – the arrival of Santa Claus (Kerstman in Dutch) and the giving of gifts. If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the … One unique tradition about this is that quite some people do “gourmetten” (grilling your own food on a hot stone, ed.) Christmas Day is a significant holiday in the Netherlands on 25th December every year. This is the day where families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. On 25 and 26 December people come together with their families. The calendar hides some candy in a special door, which must be opened each day. Some people exchange gifts with each other to create new memories. Although there are many traditions associated with Christmas are similar in different homes of same nation even in different nations also. National traditions of Netherlands. It’s a public holiday on Christmas Day. 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. On this very day almost all offices and schools are closed and air is filled with festivity. The Dutch Christmas festive season officially starts with the arrival of Sinterklaas and his legion of Zwarte Piet helpers in mid-November. They then organize and eat a lavish meal and may join a particular church service on Christmas Day. This is not to suggest the Netherlands does not observe the birth of Christ with religious fervor. The traditional Christmas drive in The Netherlands A ‘sterrit’, star drive= Christmas drive, is a typical Dutch tradition and game. But there are many enjoyable Dutch traditions surrounding their arrival, and children never complain about getting presents from Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet on 5 December. Part of what makes a traditional Dutch Christmas is the special Dutch Christmas food consumed at this time of year. For Christmas markets and December events, read our list of seasonal events in the Netherlands. To many expats, this is perhaps a strange custom because elsewhere some spend 26 December raiding local malls hunting Boxing Day bargains or those Down Under might watch the start of the Boxing Day cricket Test or horse races. The Dutch Have Separate Holidays for Gift Giving and Christmas. 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. This custom begins on Advent Sunday (the fourth Sunday before Christmas) and continues until Christmas Eve. Flaky puff pastry brushed with apricot jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar encases a soft, flavorful almond paste center. Sinterklaas is St Nicholas, the patron saint of children, sailors and many others as well. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. A sweet tooth is certainly needed at Christmas time as you’ll see with the most common Dutch Christmas food and treats: While the commercialized, shop-till-you-drop Dutch Christmas cheer might sound familiar to you, there are still some unique differences between a Dutch Christmas and, say, Christmas in the UK or US to be discovered. December is the most festive month of the year in the Netherlands, with Sinterklaas at the start of the month and Christmas and New Year's at the end. There are lots of ways to celebrate or rejoice the day to its fullest and very family has their own traditions to celebrate festivals. Here, abortion, prostitution, euthanasia, and same-sex marriages are legalized. As it is said earlier also people of same republican have their own different ways to celebrate or rejoice the day. You can make them in just a little over half an hour. Christmas is a holiday to honor the birth of Jesus. Christmas in the Netherlands is celebrated over two days: 25 and 26 December, described as First and Second Christmas Day. Anyone for a Boxing Day fox hunt? NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. The first thing that tourists associate with the Netherlands is the legal sale of light drugs in coffeeshops. They also receive most of their presents on Sinterklaas. Christmas trees Tradition has it that Christmas trees don’t make an appearance in the Netherlands until after Sinterklaas, so as soon as the Sint has left, the tree sellers move in. Another quirky song to have hit Dutch airwaves was Eenzame Kerst (Lonely Christmas), being the 70s breakthrough hit of Amsterdam singer André Hazes lamenting how lonely Christmas was in jail. The Christmas story comes from the Bible. Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. These thin, crunchy cookies are laced with a handful of delicious spices that give them a … What even is the Dutch tradition of gourmetten? The 'banketstaaf' is a traditional Dutch pastry, served at Christmas time. Horn blowing ’ thing that tourists associate with the arrival of Sinterklaas and his legion Zwarte! 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