Sinterklaas is a prominent figure in the Netherlands, whose visit to the country marks the beginning of the Netherland festive season. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. So don’t expect to see decked halls until December 7th. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th gra Due to COVID-19, check local advisories and contact the places you plan to visit before you go to confirm they’re open. If you really want a turkey, you can order it in advance at your local butcher. Some will say that his face is black from climbing down chimneys to deliver presents for Sinterklaas. It’s so interesting seeing how other countries celebrate Christmas. Want your business to reach an unrivalled expat and international audience? Your email address will not be published. Either way, he is the start of Christmas for me and my Cuban family as well. 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!). Happy holidays! Dutch carols in the book include "Look, There Is the Steamer" and "Bright December Moon." The beer is … It’s really interesting. Without leaving the United States. They dress in 16th-century clothes featuring a large, ruffled collar. <3. The informative passage, graphic organizers, and other activities are a great way to celebrate this winter holiday and learn about the culture and traditions. Some of the most popular and most successful Dutch Christmas events have been cancelled for the 2020 / 2021 winter season. Two words: marzipan chocolate! It’s also wise to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. “The Netherlands is closing down,” he said to the sound of protesters banging pots and pans outside his office in The Hague. 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. I can understand your kids’ perspectives. A thick, brandy-spiked variation of eggnog called Advocaat is often served over the holidays. After Christmas comes a week of calm and peace. As a country of sailors with a long coastline, fish is often featured on Christmas including mussels, sea shrimp, salmon, and eel. And one word that defines Christmas is gezellig. The Christmas festival is a result of Christian influences on pre-Christian winter festivals held in the area that is now the Netherlands and most of Europe. In the Netherlands there is Eerste Kerstdag and Tweede Kerstdag (First Christmas Day and Second Christmas Day). He arrives by steamboat, from Spain, on a boat full of presents and mandarins. This is the day where families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. 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?? He was a Greekorthodox Bishop. The Dutch like to separate Sinterklaas and gift giving from Christmas. I know a friend whose dad served his pet rabbit for dinner. What happens at Christmas in the Netherlands? Nice article! That part has been added now. 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. Dutch Christmas recipes include Apple Dumplings, Limburg Pie, and Apple-Raisin Donuts. Santa is wearing board shorts and everyone is outside. The culture and traditions are almost the same in Belgium too. We do have those here! On Christmas Eve in Finland people remember those who are not anymore with us. If you are Mexican, eat recalentado (warmed-up leftovers from Christmas Eve) and maybe try to score some sales. Banketstaaf – dutch pastry filled with a sweet almond paste … I love learning about other countries’ holiday traditions. This year, there’s a new ban on the dangerous explosives, but before, you would see people in the street blowing it all up. The father didn’t have a dowry for his three daughters, a necessity for marriage in Asia Minor at the time. It is quite common to spend one Christmas day with one side of the family and the other day with the other side, although every family is different of course! Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. I can’t say this is an Aussie tradition. But, not in Netherlands as a whole. I also blog at Poppies and Ice-cream. Christmas Greetings. As you might expect, these usually quickly disappear soon after the tree is trimmed with only the ribbons remaining. This day commemorates Saint Martin of Tours, a bishop of Gaul (modern-day France). 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. Each of the two days of Christmas is usually celebrated with lots of food. 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. He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. 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. I love it! December 26th is called “Tweede Kerstdag” meaning “Boxing Day”. , Marzipan is sooooo amazing! Children in the Netherlands receive presents from Sinterklaas on December 5th, pakjesavond, instead of Christmas Eve. Being an Aussie the giving of gifts on Christmas Eve in North America was always strange to me. My mom is German. Prior to Christmas Day, many people decorate their homes and gardens with Christmas trees. I thoroughly enjoyed this Sage. 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 I guess he just thought, as many other Dutch citizens do, that Spain was a great place to retire. thanks for sharing! 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. This post took me back to my sweet little time spent in Amsterdam and its neighborhood. I think it was just my family. Pakjesavond literally means “presents evening.”. I loved learning all about Sinterklaas! Christmas is an exciting time of year for many of us, but it is celebrated differently all over the world. Holidays in the Netherlands 2021: when are the public, national, and school holidays? Those sound like such special memories! 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. Gifts are generally not exchanged. 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. 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. This is such a cool post! But if you thought that Christmas Eve was a thing, you would be wrong. I have not visited The Netherlands yet, however celebrating Christmas since November sounds like my type of country ? Families gather to celebrate, eat spice cookies, hot chocolate, tea and open presents. It shares an eastern border with, The country is often called Holland after two of its more populated provinces. And, I always do these things to avoid getting sick when I travel (even when we’re not dealing with a pandemic). 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. They put the treats in their shoes, and if they're lucky. Because children have already received presents from Sinterklaas earlier in the month, Christmas is typically celebrated by spending time with family. (See fact #12 for more about the chocolate coins). You don’t celebrate someone’s birthday two days after the actual event, or do you? Copyright 2021. So much fun! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Yes, technically you are right, as he was a bishop of Myra in Asia Minor and Turkey did not exist. If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual kerstpakket. It’s actually a huge thing where people get together withdraw family and friends, drink all night long, light fireworks (literally EVERYWHERE), go out to party, eat Oliebollen and basically wake up on the 2th of January:). 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. 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 love to see the different ways that people celebrate the same holiday in such different ways. I always received marzipan for Christmas when I was a child. Seriously. Children ‘grow’ with the tradition. Some of them are so unusual. Christmas is a holiday to commemorate the birth of Jesus. But rabbit is probably even more not my thing…. 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. What I meant though was that said city would be located in modern-day Demre, in (today’s) Turkey. Love that the Dutch celebrate St. Nicholas Day! 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. Instead of Santa Claus, the Dutch have Sinterklaas. Cancelled Christmas markets. 25 surprising facts about Christmas in the Netherlands. Christmas in the Netherlands Hardcover – November 1, 1981 4.4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings. Zwarte Piet carries a bag filled with goodies, usually chocolate coins and mandarin oranges. 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. Rather than elves, Sinterklaas has helpers called Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). *. 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. 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. (And somewhat difficult to find in the US…), I love the Dutch culture and lifestyle. They often leave carrots, hay, or sugar cubes for Sinterklaas’ horse along with a poem or letter for him. Though I often forget that parts of Europe does it on the 5th rather than the 6th which is strange to me. It is famous for tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, Heineken beer, and Gouda cheese. Happy holidays! Or a different nation? Christmas in the Netherlands Poster (KidsSoup members) In the Netherlands, Santa Claus is known as Sinterklaas. A dear teacher friend of ours wanted to share with her class what Christmas was like in the Netherlands. All being together in the living room, phones off, snow outside. Traditionally, Zwarte Piet is black because he’s of North African descent. Every night until December the fifth, children put their shoes near the chimney in the house. While Many Americans will put up Christmas trees around Thanksgiving, Christmas trees aren’t put up in the Netherlands until after Sinterklaas. Saint Nicolas was not Turkish! By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. So much fun. Another tradition (and this is more universal – also happens/happened (?) There is however no turkey, fruit cake or any complicated dish. But there are others who are happy when it’s all over and life gets back to normal. Sinterklaas Instead of Santa. To help offset the costs of running EverydayWanderer.com, you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. Christmas Day itself is a much quieter day in The Netherlands, with a Church Service and family meal. Kerstpakket. Thanks for the tip! What’s your favorite Australian Christmas tradition? The general rule is Sinterklaas first, then Christmas via two distinct and separate holidays. Forget that whole chocolate + peanut butter silliness! 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. If you have a World Market Cost Plus where you live, they stock marzipan during Christmas time! The true date of birth of Jesus is unknown. 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. If you are Catholic, the traditional mass will take place, but other than that, NOTHING happens on the 24th. $49.69: $2.38: Hardcover $5.98 30 Used from $2.38 1 New from $49.69 2 Collectible from $7.76 For most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when I mean, by then, Jesus (if you are a believer) had already been born for two days! That’s why you’ll find affiliate links lightly sprinkled throughout the site. Celebrate Christmas Around the World. 100+ things every American should know. It’s Christmas in the Netherlands! Which Dutch traditions have you adopted and which ones have you imported from your country? Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. 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