What do you need to know about the Netherlands? The true date of birth of Jesus is unknown. 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. But this is sort of like calling. Also known as St. … 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. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th gra All being together in the living room, phones off, snow outside. (And somewhat difficult to find in the US…), I love the Dutch culture and lifestyle. I’m used to a hot summer day, often spending most of Christmas trying every way possible to keep cool. Also, I love the whole story of the chocolate and the coins but you sold me at Marzipan! Yeah, the over-commercialization of Christmas is a real turnoff for me. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for omissions and errors. 25 surprising facts about Christmas in the Netherlands. Yes, what I tried to convey is that, in my experience, they party -mostly- at home, if you would look for a restaurant chances are they might be closed. Second Day of Christmas is a public holiday. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d want to be away from home for the holidays. Kerstpakket. As you might expect, these usually quickly disappear soon after the tree is trimmed with only the ribbons remaining. It’s definitely cold and dark outside, and it’s December — so yes, the holidays are upon us. Those sound like such special memories! I think it was just my family. 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. Instead of Santa Claus, the Dutch have Sinterklaas. No, December 24 is still a regular day for the Dutch. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The website may provide links to other websites on the Internet, the content of which is not in our control. Your email address will not be published. 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. Awwwwww, I love it! What are your traditions? A quick read through Wikipedia explains more in-depth what Sinterklaas really means in the Netherlands: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas. My kids LOVE gold-wrapped chocolate coins, too! 25th December, is known as “Eerste Kerstdag” meaning “the first day of Christmas” while the second day, i.e. Sage Advice:  Experience more Dutch culture with this off-the-beaten-path bike tour of Amsterdam. December 25th and 26th, which are both observed as public holidays. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This post took me back to my sweet little time spent in Amsterdam and its neighborhood. I always received marzipan for Christmas when I was a child. 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. © 2019 All Rights Reserved. Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2018 but was updated for your reading pleasure on December 2020. Your email address will not be published. He was a Greekorthodox Bishop. I’ll be sure to check it out. Christmas in the Netherlands Hardcover – November 1, 1981 4.4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings. Sinterklaas will pay them a surprise visit with presents. Christmas in The Netherlands. Christmas. Want your business to reach an unrivalled expat and international audience? That’s why you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. What’s your favorite part of the holidays? 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. In rural eastern areas of the country, handmade horns are carved out of birch or elder saplings. It is famous for tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, Heineken beer, and Gouda cheese. Visiting Europe for the First Time. Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. 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. And we love her!! , there’s no additional cost to you, but I’ll earn a teeny tiny commission. The connection between St. Nicholas and prostitutes is why chocolate coins are a common treat for children from Sinterklaas. Without leaving the United States. A dear teacher friend of ours wanted to share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands. 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. Get the latest articles delivered to you! The Christmas period is a time of celebration and tradition. Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. I must admit I didn’t know about many of these facts. Rather than hanging stockings, well-behaved Dutch children leave wooden shoes out for Sinterklaas to fill. Each of the two days of Christmas is usually celebrated with lots of food. Zwarte Piet carries a bag filled with goodies, usually chocolate coins and mandarin oranges. The Dutch celebrate Christmas over two public holidays on both the 25th and 26th of December. The key reason I know about Christmas in the Netherlands is that we lived there for three Christmases. Christmas in Netherlands – Great Event; Christmas Day is a significant holiday in the Netherlands on 25th December every year. Banketstaaf – dutch pastry filled with a sweet almond paste … Are you from Belgium? December 26th is called “Tweede Kerstdag” meaning “Boxing Day”. Children in the Netherlands receive presents from Sinterklaas on December 5th, pakjesavond, instead of Christmas Eve. What’s your favorite Australian Christmas tradition? 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. This event plays an important role in Christianity, an influential religion in the Netherlands. 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. Or a different nation? 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. To help offset the costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. Have you spent Christmas in the Netherlands? Chocolate and pastry shop windows are full of marzipan delights at Christmastime, shaping the almond paste into everything from fruits to animals. I love it! My favourite here is the fact that St Nicholas arrives by boat! Nice read. 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. As a country of sailors with a long coastline, fish is often featured on Christmas including mussels, sea shrimp, salmon, and eel. Aaaw, leaving a carrot for Sinterklaas’ horse, so cute! 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. 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. 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? But, not in Netherlands as a whole. The arrival of Sinterklaas is a very significant and an important Christmas tradition in the Netherlands. 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. Beyond the Netherlands, Sinterklaas is also celebrated in Dutch territories like Aruba. Two words: marzipan chocolate! Copyright 2021. And one word that defines Christmas is gezellig. We do have those here! “The Netherlands is closing down,” he said to the sound of protesters banging pots and pans outside his office in The Hague. But if you thought that Christmas Eve was a thing, you would be wrong. , Marzipan is sooooo amazing! Christmas is an exciting time of year for many of us, but it is celebrated differently all over the world. I can’t say this is an Aussie tradition. So interesting! And yes, I forgot about the Oliebollen and the fireworks, how could I ? So interesting the way different cultures celebrate what is essentially a winter solstice holiday wrapped in a (very loose) Christian garment. For most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when Another tradition (and this is more universal – also happens/happened (?) The general rule is Sinterklaas first, then Christmas via two distinct and separate holidays. A pillow case full! Thank You! But I guess he just thought, as many other Dutch citizens do, that Spain was a great place to retire. I love learning about different traditions and cultures! 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. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment. When did Santa (or Father Christmas as we call him) have time to sneak down the chimney? It’s also wise to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. 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