This is because the Dutch celebrate Saint Nicholas on 5 December during Sinterklaas as a separate event from Christmas. In fact, many Dutch residents will attend church on Christmas Eve night, but research also indicates that family get-togethers get higher priority. The Dutch family unit is notably important and this is especially highlighted over the Dutch Christmas period. 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. Lights, candles, wreaths, poinsettias, and trees are strung during Christmas in the Netherlands, hung, tacked, taped, and placed in every available space. But Sinterklaas Day isn’t just an early Christmas. It’s a tune that never leaves me throughout the Christmas period and the video to this one from Toppers is like the most cliché Christmas party ever. As an international student, this might be the first time you experience Dutch Christmas. The background of the engraving contains now-familiar Santa images including stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace. 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. Thank you from Hawaii where we say: “Mele Kalikimaka” Merry Christmas! Among the religious population, not all Christians knew the meaning of Christmas either. I wish I could experience it as it’s not so commercialized as it is here in the USA, Automated page speed optimizations for fast site performance. Kerstkransjes – 'wreath cookies' (used also to decorate the Christmas tree) Kerststol – a fruited Dutch Christmas loaf; Speculaas - spiced biscuits ; Appelbeignets – Dutch apple fritters; Advocaat - egg-yolk liqueur; Bischopswijn – Dutch mulled wine; 6. It’s a time for family, presents, demons and witches. Serve it up with coffee. The tradition of Christmas stockings originated in the generous deeds of a nobleman named Nicholas who was born in 280 A.D. in Asia Minor. Christmas Wrapping. Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. ... Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, is a character in Dutch folklore who is said to be Santa’s (Sinterklaas’) sidekick. 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 love their trees – in fact they love Christmas decorations in general. In the Netherlands, he is kind of a poor relative to Sinterklaas. Dutch national holidays and traditions. The Pennsylvania Dutch responded by celebrating their most cherished Christmas traditions from home and creating a few new ones. While there are many Christmas traditions that are similar in more than one place, each country has its own variations and the Netherlands is not an exception. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. Martina, Thank you for sharing this with us Martina, hope that you enjoyed the article and Merry Christmas . 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. The holiday is celebrated on 6 December in Belgium. Do the Dutch celebrate Christmas (Kerst) in a different way? If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual, . Instead of a sleigh from the North Pole, Sinterklaas arrives on a boat from Spain called Pakjesboot. Gezelligheid. 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. This is when presents and sweets are traditionally distributed to children. While there are many Christmas traditions that are similar in more than one place, each country has its own variations and the Netherlands is not an exception. There is however no turkey, fruit cake or any complicated dish. The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday and an additional candle is lit each following Sunday. Share this: 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. I hope my attempt at hosting family this Christmas … 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. In 1809, Washington Irving helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Dutch Christmas songs. So here are 6 key things you should learn about Christmas in the Netherlands. I probably wouldn’t have gotten enough info for my project without it. Similarly, young adults might choose to celebrate the second day with their friends instead. Streets can become very busy leading up to the big day, indicating that Christmas in the Netherlands has also not been immune to commercialism. However, even as the British were expelled from Manhattan, American holiday traditions were still localized, often tied to one’s specific ethnicity and hardly unified. Some say that hanging the Christmas tree upside down is a very old European tradition either rooted in religion or a need to save space in small homes. The 'banketstaaf' is a traditional Dutch pastry, served at Christmas time. The Netherlands' Controversial Blackface Christmas Tradition People dressed as the character known as Zwarte Piet or Black Pete arrive on a boat with Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) Nov. 24, 2018, in Katwijk, Netherlands. It’s something altogether different. 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. 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. While food is an essential ingredient in Christmas in the Netherlands, family is the secret additive that makes this holiday traditional. When nights falls on December 5, ... Read about more weird Christmas traditions on 10 International Customs That Turn Christmas Into Halloween and 10 Strange Christmas Traditions From The Victorian Era. The stamps are only valid for items that weigh 0-50 grams and also only for post sent within the Netherlands. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. 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. Thank you for the remarks and detailed explanation on the history of Sinterklaas. In fact, Dutch Christmas traditions have some particular elements that you should be aware of in this festive season. You can check the website of your local municipality for a list of events. Some of the typical treats are: Music has an important role in Dutch Christmas traditions. Check out Coolblue for interesting light arrangements like this Phillips lightstrip. Almost no one mentions that it is in fact the other way around. He arrives by boat from Spain to a different Dutch city every year in an event broadcast live on television. Dutch Christmas traditions involve many unique holiday activities. As they say Merry Christmas in Dutch, Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Another one of the fun Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas traditions is to hang the Christmas tree upside down and decorate it. Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. As Kerstmas is around the corner, you’ve probably seen the amazing decorations covering the roofs and windows of your neighborhood. What’s Christmas without some delicious food? English colonists in New York (previously the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam) called him “Santa Claus” because they couldn't pronounce the Dutch name. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. And why a Christmas day in both Holland and The Netherlands, is unlike any other. At the center of a home’s Christmas celebration was the tree, a fir cut from Pennsylvania’s abundant woods and brought inside a few days before Christmas. In the Netherlands, people celebrate Christmas both on the 25th and the 26th of December. There are many different ideas on how this practice came into existence. Anyone for a Boxing Day fox hunt? I grew up in a Pennsylvania German household, and the one memory that sticks out is the annual PA Dutch tradition of a Christmas visit from the Belsnickel, who was portrayed by my great-uncle. In fact, Sinterklaas is much more popular than the Kerstman. Dutch Christmas dinners usually consist of venison, goose, hare, or turkey with plenty of vegetables and Kerstbrood (Christmas bread). This custom begins on Advent Sunday (the fourth Sunday before Christmas) and continues until Christmas Eve. Typically, the Dutch will forgo the traditional Christmas roast, and opt for what is called gourmetten . 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. 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. Wait, what?! The Pennsylvania Dutch responded by celebrating their most cherished Christmas traditions from home and creating a few new ones. The calendar hides some candy in a special door, which must be opened each day. 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. 6. Read about the best Dutch festivals for more events in the Netherlands. Now that that is out of … For instance, Sinterklaas is not a chubby man, he’s rather tall and slim, he wears a dark red robe and a hat that resembles a bishop’s attire. 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.. 3 minute read. Another custom is to place an Advent wreath in the living room with four red or yellow candles. The distribution of kerstpakketten comes from a historical tradition - the gift of food that was given to farm workers to take home to their families for Christmas. Yes, the good-natured spirit of Christmas in the Netherlands is alive and well. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call “gourmet” which might leave you puzzled. During the Dutch St. Nicholas holiday, Netherlanders gather for parades in which the saint (in Dutch, Sinterklass) arrives in town to hand out candy and gifts. I lost my mama this year and my Dutch heritage means more than ever. Moreover, he’s accompanied by the controversial Black Peter (Zwarte Piet), his assistant whose face is covered with soot and who's the one going down the chimney to leave gifts for children. 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. Family and friends will probably visit, call or send a card. As an international student most likely you’ve noticed that Dutch Christmas songs are played on the radio, in the shopping malls and Christmas markets. Christmas is perhaps the most perfect and slightly sneaky time to serve up a little world cultural awareness to kids. Zwarte Piet is Sinterklaas’ (Santa Clause) helper, and across the small European country, Dutch children are excited for the duo’s arrival each year. Christmas in the Netherlands is celebrated over two days: 25 and 26 December, described as First and Second Christmas Day. Christmas comes early to the good children of the Netherlands. Definitely still a very poor relative to Sinterklaas. Every article I read about this subject, people seem to think that Sinterklaas is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus. Thanks again. Dutch national holidays and traditions. 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. Legend has it that he is accompanied by a servant named Black Peter who … For example, a long-time tradition among farmers in the rural east is the ‘mid-winter horn blowing’. Even though Pennsylvania Dutch are credited with bringing the Christmas tree to America, they were not like the familiar ones we see today. Copyright © 2021 COLLEGE LIFE. When Marlene was growing up, her dad, an Amsterdam native, would bake this bread a few days before Christmas. 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. On the night of December 5, children clean and polish their boots and leave them outside the door before going to sleep. 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. Christmas Traditions in the Netherlands Christmas is a holiday to honor the birth of Jesus. Your ultimate guide to a jolly Dutch Christmas: here we explain local Christmas traditions, Christmas songs, winter activities, and all the Dutch Christmas foods to try during the holidays in the Netherlands. The International Student’s Guide To Dutch Christmas Traditions, https://collegelife.co/nl/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2019/02/logo.png, https://collegelife.co/nl/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/12/saint-nicholas-2934899_1280.jpg. From the Dutch Princesses welcoming 'Sinterklaas' to the Palace, to Prince Albert of Monaco dressing up as Father Christmas for his annual gift-giving party, this is what the Royal Families of Europe get up to during the festive period Tags: Christmas, Christmas stamps, gift wrapping, Kerstmis, Merry Christmas in Dutch, traditions. If there is a time of year that represents the Dutch sense of gezelligheid, it is the holiday season. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas. In West-Frisian (Frysk) spoken in Friesland/Fryslân)it's 'Noflike Krystdagen' (Comfortable Christmas days); in Bildts spoken in Friesland it's 'Noflike Korsttydsdagen' (Comfortable … Keep learning Dutch with us! Nov 8, 2019 - Explore Cathy Smith's board "Dutch Christmas foods", followed by 164 people on Pinterest. The Netherlands has a long, North Sea coastline. 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. Recently, the traditional black-faced character has been the subject of debate as to whether it is racist or not. Some children hang up a stocking from the fireplace mantel on Christmas Eve, but there are no more presents after St. Nicholas Day for most Dutch children. But there are also families who exchange gifts at Sinterklaas‘ birthday and at Christmas – it depends on where you live. The Christmas traditions and customs of America are mainly inspired by French, English, Polish, German, Mexican, Italian and Dutch, but some are uniquely American. These Christmas traditions and rituals are quintessentially German. If you're ambitious enough to learn a Dutch Christmas song yourself, visit. During Dutch Christmas people spend two days with their family, playing games, watching movies and eating some traditional Christmas food. This is because elsewhere it’s common to spend the 26th at the local shopping malls hunting Boxing Day deals. A tradition that is sure to make others envious is that the Dutch celebrate 2 days of Christmas, namely on the 25 th and 26 th of December. This usually allows them to spend time at both sets of in laws and avoid the hassle of having to choose each year. In Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas has a “helper” named Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” who usually appears as a blackface character with large gold earrings and exaggerated lips. Family and friends will probably visit, call or send a card. Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. Birthdays are greeted with enthusiasm in Dutch culture. In Dutch Happy/Merry Christmas can be said as 'Prettige Kerst' (Happy Christmas), 'Zalig Kerstfeest' or 'Zalig Kerstmis' (both mean Merry Christmas) or 'Vrolijk Kerstfeest' (Cheerful Christmas). Thank you for your posting. Dutch Christmas trees (kerstbomen) appear all over the Netherlands soon after the Sinterklaas eve. He’s a trickster who plays pranks and tosses candy in the air for young children. Aug 17, 2019 - Explore Jayme Blazian's board "Dutch Christmas", followed by 160 people on Pinterest. Dutch Christmas Bread (Kerstbrood) This recipe for Dutch Christmas Bread comes from Marlene’s side of the family, and I always love learning about her Dutch traditions. Putting up a Christmas tree The Dutch love their Christmas trees. This is not to suggest the Netherlands does not observe the birth of Christ with religious fervor. This is because the Dutch celebrate Saint Nicholas on 5 December during Sinterklaas as a separate event from Christmas. One of the first Dutch Christmas songs I ever heard and learnt. Have a cookie In fact, Dutch Christmas traditions have some particular elements that you should be aware of in this festive season. Americans usually blend secular and religious customs and traditions with their own personal family customs, which often incorporates decorations, food, decorations, and rituals. A Dutch Christmas is majorly typified by family gatherings, having excellent drinks and food for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the arrival of Santa Claus (Kerstman in Dutch). You can make them in just a little over half an hour. The Dutch Christmas festive season officially starts with the arrival of Sinterklaas and his legion of Zwarte Piet helpers in mid-November. Have you noticed an interesting Dutch Christmas tradition? TransferWise. After reading this great information provided, I have a better understanding. Many people will also display a nativity scene with their Dutch Christmas decorations. ; The country is often called Holland … This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. While Sinterklaas can be considered as the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, it has some differences. Christmas in the Netherlands Poster (KidsSoup members). 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. Your choices will not impact your visit. Among the Dutch, instead of people showering the birthday person with special treats, it is the birthday person’s place to treat those around him or her. If you ask, many Dutch nationals will stress to you the superficiality of gift-giving at Christmas in the Netherlands. As a matter of fact, to some international students this might seem strange. 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. 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. You’ll heard Dutch Christmas songs played on radio stations and in shopping centers weeks leading up to Christmas day. In the Netherlands, he is kind of a poor relative to Sinterklaas. It was nice to read…. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Furthermore, Dutch also have their own Father Christmas or Santa Claus called. Moreover, he’s accompanied by the controversial Black Peter (. The decorated Christmas tree has become widely popular since its introduction to the Netherlands in the 19th century. Father Christmas's name was gradually changed to Santa Claus, from the Dutch name for Father Christmas, which is Sinter Claas. Very interesting. 12.23.16. 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. I needed this information for a school project. This includes Dutch Christmas decorations, Dutch Christmas songs, Dutch Christmas gifts, how to say Merry Christmas in Holland & The Netherlands and plenty of more. In 1804, John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society’s annual meeting. 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. Even when the Dutch were kicked out of Manhattan in 1664, Sinterklaas was still celebrated in the region, further infused with English Christmas customs. It’s a very good point for people to discuss on! Among the Dutch, instead of people showering the birthday person with special treats, it is the birthday person’s place to treat those around him or her. This is the day where families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. That is very true, and I wish this would be updated accordingly. Christmas Traditions In Netherlands. Host Patrick Donmoyer shares the folklore and customs the Pennsylvania Dutch have celebrated for centuries during the holiday season on Pennsylvania German. Learning about the Christmas traditions of other lands is just fun. Yet, the fairy lights in trees and lighted decorations from house windows give a cheery, warm glow on the dark and cold December nights. In December 1773, and again in 1774, a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. I miss much of such a cultured areas as we immigrated to Canada many years ago. A Dutch Christmas is majorly typified by family gatherings, having excellent drinks and food for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the arrival of Santa Claus (Kerstman in Dutch). On December 5, people in the Netherlands celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) eve. If you're ambitious enough to learn a Dutch Christmas song yourself, visit this site for English translations. Although he has origins in Norse and pre-Christian mythology, Santa Claus took shape in the United States. 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. 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. Have you noticed an interesting Dutch Christmas tradition? Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. People put them up in public spaces and their living rooms and decorate them with lights and ornaments. Thank you for reading this. Why not get the best of both worlds by doing some online Boxing Day sales shopping? It shares an eastern border with Germany and a southern border with Belgium. Sinterklaas: This Dutch tradition may be hard for new expats to fully comprehend at first, especially those who grew up in countries where Christmas is heavily celebrated and Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) are synonymous with the holidays. 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 . Part of the series: Christmas Traditions Around the World. Nov 8, 2019 - Explore Cathy Smith's board "Dutch Christmas foods", followed by 164 people on Pinterest. You will also find the more usual Dutch Christmas songs: You can find music and English translations here. It’s such a good reminder of a time when I was in Nederland as a very little girl. – 'wreath cookies' (used also to decorate the Christmas tree), Music has an important role in Dutch Christmas traditions. From October onwards, every garden centre turns at least half its floor space over to a giant display of Christmas tat – including tree decorations of every hue and material. One of the first Dutch Christmas songs I ever heard and learnt. This is an eve when Sinterklaas visits the homes of every child and leaves them some gifts and treats to enjoy. Coolblue has an amazing collection of technology and electronics that are sure to be at a great price. Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. , this might be the first time you experience Dutch Christmas. Great information on this that I am using to teach about The Netherlands at our children’s Christmas Around The World Event at church. Nicholas dedicated his life to following the principles of Jesus Christ, using his wealth to help impoverished and suffering people. Christmas in the Netherlands is similar to the experiences in the other western major Christian countries. Flaky puff pastry brushed with apricot jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar encases a soft, flavorful almond paste center. 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. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas. All rights reserved. this is a good site to find a lot of information thank you this is helpful for my project, thank you I need this for a school project we are learning about Christmas around he world, Thank you. Interesting pre-Christian elements have survived throughout the centuries and are still a part of Christmas celebrations today. 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:. This is an eve when Sinterklaas visits the homes of every child and leaves them some gifts and treats to enjoy. Could have used more explanation, but loved it. Come late November and usually frosty temperatures, festive displays of holiday spirit are found throughout the Netherlands -- and nowadays a great deal deal of sales. You may change your settings at any time. Birthdays are greeted with enthusiasm in Dutch culture. 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. Thank you again. Dutch Christmas treats are perfect for those who love sweets as they traditionally consist of such ingredients as spices, dried fruits, sugar, almonds and white flour. Department stores eagerly get into the swing of things during Christmas in the Netherlands, decorating every floor with bows, wreaths, fake presents, and large plastic trees, in preparation for the burgeoning shopping crowds. 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A boat from Spain to a different way could have used more explanation, loved! Are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the 25th of December 5, people the...

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