Holiday Traditions of Netherlands Christmas is a joyful religious holiday when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. For most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) brings them their presents! Have you noticed an interesting Dutch Christmas tradition? The Christmas story comes from the Bible. On December 5, people in the Netherlands celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) eve. There is however no turkey, fruit cake or any complicated dish. Over Christmas, hundreds of oliebollen street vendors pop up around the Netherlands and prepare these tasty pastries from inside dedicated food trucks. 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. Surprise presents are also given on St. Nicholas' Day. The top 10 Dutch traditions, compiled by the Dutch folk culture centre NCV. It's not about poor housekeeping. Special biscuits and sweets are also eaten at the party. Thanks again. This is an eve when Sinterklaas visits the homes of every child and leaves them some gifts and treats to enjoy. So now you will often see more 'Sooty Piet'/'Roetpiet' where people just have soot and dirt smudges on their face rather than being completely made up with black makeup. When Sinterklaas and the Piets come ashore from the steam boat, all of the local church bells ring in celebration. . The presents are often things that the person would find useful with their favorite hobby. 25th December, is known as “Eerste Kerstdag” meaning “the first day of Christmas” while the second day, i.e. It’s one of the great Christmas traditions in The Netherlands, and it cannot miss during Dutch celebrations. In fact, Dutch Christmas traditions have some particular elements that you should be aware of in this festive season. 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. Sinterklass travels with his servants called 'Zwarte Pieten' ('Black Peters') or 'Sooty Pieten'/'Roetpieten' (Sooty or Chimney Peters). Have you noticed an interesting Dutch Christmas tradition? Dutch tradition says that St. Nicholas lives in Madrid, Spain and every year he chooses a different harbour to arrive in The Netherlands, so as many children as possible get a chance to see him. The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day, the tradition that may have seeded the idea for Santa Claus in the first place) on December 5, and it is this day that Dutch children get excited about. 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. The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call “gourmet” which might leave you puzzled. Christmas Day is known as 'Eerste Kerstdag' (first Christmas day) and the day after Christmas is called 'Tweede Kerstdag' (second Christmas day). Many people now don't like the use of 'Zwarte Piet', this is because the helpers who dress up as Zwarte Pieten are normally white people who wear black makeup as this is seen as racist. They're told that, during the night, Sinterklaas rides on the roofs on his horse and that a Piet will then climb down the chimney (or through a window) and put the presents and/or candy in their shoes. In 1804, John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society’s annual meeting. 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). Thank you again. 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). Whether it’s carol singing, wreath making or seeing Santa there are certain things that bring Christmas to life each December. Christmas in Dutch is celebrated over two days which are referred to as the First and Second day of Christmas (25th and 26th December). 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. every Saturday until the main Sinterklaas party on 5th December. 6. The biscuits are made in the shapes of the first letter of the peoples names who are at the party. 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