Family and friends will probably visit, call or send a card. 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. The 'banketstaaf' is a traditional Dutch pastry, served at Christmas time. And why a Christmas day in both Holland and The Netherlands, is unlike any other. As an international student, this might be the first time you experience Dutch Christmas. Thank you for reading this. And for dessert, there is usually some sort of pudding, followed by a cup of warm hot chocolate with whipped cream. This usually allows them to spend time at both sets of in laws and avoid the hassle of having to choose each year. Without the Dutch Sinterklaas, there would likely have not been a Santa Claus. 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. ), his assistant whose face is covered with soot and who's the one going down the chimney to leave gifts for children. 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. Moreover, he’s accompanied by the controversial Black Peter (. 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. I lost my mama this year and my Dutch heritage means more than ever. 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. 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. While every good boy and girl is sleeping, the Dutch Santa Claus sneaks into their house and leaves treats and presents for the children to find when they wake up in the morning. That is very true, and I wish this would be updated accordingly. In the Netherlands, he is kind of a poor relative to Sinterklaas. But Sinterklaas Day isn’t just an early Christmas. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. 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. 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). The Dutch, practical as they are, traditionally eat something they call “gourmet” which might leave you puzzled. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas. On December 5, people in the Netherlands celebrate, (St. Nicholas) eve. I probably wouldn’t have gotten enough info for my project without it. Even though Pennsylvania Dutch are credited with bringing the Christmas tree to America, they were not like the familiar ones we see today. In the Netherlands, he is kind of a poor relative to Sinterklaas. Zwarte Piet is Sinterklaas’ (Santa Clause) helper, and across the small European country, Dutch children are excited for the duo’s arrival each year. At the start of the Christmas season Dutch pubs begin to sell a delicious type of mulled wine called glühwein. While Sinterklaas can be considered as the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, it has some differences. Christmas and PA Dutch Traditions by Bryan Hay. Among others, you’ll hear such traditional Dutch Christmas songs as, (Someone is coming, children). You will also find the more usual Dutch Christmas songs: You can find music and English translations here. 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 … 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. 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 . Christmas Traditions In Netherlands. Typically, the Dutch will forgo the traditional Christmas roast, and opt for what is called gourmetten . Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. As a matter of fact, to some international students this might seem strange. The Dutch don't call Santa Claus by that name, instead in the Netherlands he is called Kerstman, or Christmas man. If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual, . Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. Furthermore, Dutch also have their own Father Christmas or Santa Claus called. 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. The calendar hides some candy in a special door, which must be opened each day. What even is the Dutch tradition of gourmetten? 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. Ahhh Christmas: the smell of turkey wafts through the house as the family gathers around the table to enjoy a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.Potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pigs in blankets - yum! 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. Christmas Traditions In Netherland Christmas celebrations begin from the last Saturday of November as the locals begin preparations to celebrate St Nicholas Day on 6th of December. Yes, the good-natured spirit of Christmas in the Netherlands is alive and well. Instead of a sleigh from the North Pole, Sinterklaas arrives on a boat from Spain called Pakjesboot. Christmas Traditions in the Netherlands Christmas is a holiday to honor the birth of Jesus. I hope my attempt at hosting family this Christmas … 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 Christmas traditions and customs of America are mainly inspired by French, English, Polish, German, Mexican, Italian and Dutch, but some are uniquely American. In early November families also await the start of the annual Sinterklaasjournal children’s program. He’s a trickster who plays pranks and tosses candy in the air for young children. Tags: Christmas, Christmas stamps, gift wrapping, Kerstmis, Merry Christmas in Dutch, traditions. The holiday is celebrated on 6 December in Belgium. 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. 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. 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. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. comes from a historical tradition - the gift of food that was given to farm workers to take home to their families for Christmas. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. English colonists in New York (previously the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam) called him “Santa Claus” because they couldn't pronounce the Dutch name. See more ideas about dutch recipes, food, recipes. Why not get the best of both worlds by doing some online Boxing Day sales shopping? As they say Merry Christmas in Dutch, Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Putting up a Christmas tree The Dutch love their Christmas trees. 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. Thanks again. 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. For Christmas markets and December events, read our list of seasonal events in the Netherlands. 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. Have you noticed an interesting Dutch Christmas tradition? 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. Of Dutch Reformed churchgoers, 23% got it wrong, compared with 16% of Dutch Presbyterians and 26% of Roman Catholics. He arrives by boat from Spain to a different Dutch city every year in an event broadcast live on television. 12.23.16. I have deep hearted ties to there and have soft thoughts to a magical place in the world. Martina, Thank you for sharing this with us Martina, hope that you enjoyed the article and Merry Christmas . Wait, what?! All rights reserved. Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. The holiday season is right around the corner and it’s going to be a little different from what we are used to. If you're ambitious enough to learn a Dutch Christmas song yourself, visit this site for English translations. Thank you for the remarks and detailed explanation on the history of Sinterklaas. 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. Connect with us and tell about it! This custom begins on Advent Sunday (the fourth Sunday before Christmas) and continues until Christmas Eve. Birthdays are greeted with enthusiasm in Dutch culture. 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. Streets can become very busy leading up to the big day, indicating that Christmas in the Netherlands has also not been immune to commercialism. People put them up in public spaces and their living rooms and decorate them with lights and ornaments. appear all over the Netherlands soon after the Sinterklaas eve. On December 5, people in the Netherlands celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) eve. 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.. The history of Christmas traditions kept evolving throughout the 19th century, when most of the familiar components of the modern Christmas including St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, and Christmas trees, became popular.The changes in how Christmas was celebrated were so profound that it's safe to say someone alive in 1800 would not even recognize the Christmas … Some of the typical treats are: Music has an important role in Dutch Christmas traditions. A tradition that appears in the Netherlands around Sinterklaas and Christmas time is the gratis (free) gift wrapping. Among others, you’ll hear such traditional Dutch Christmas songs as Sinterklaas, Goed Heilig Man (Saint Nicholas, Good Holy Man), Hoor de Wind Waait de Bomen (The wind keeps blowing), Hoor Wie Stapt Daar Kinderen (Someone is coming, children). This is when presents and sweets are traditionally distributed to children. 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. 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. Try it Free Find it at your Library. Flaky puff pastry brushed with apricot jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar encases a soft, flavorful almond paste center. I was always curious as to the Celebration of Christmas in the Netherlands. It shares an eastern border with Germany and a southern border with Belgium. So here are 6 key things you should learn about Christmas in the Netherlands. The Dutch Christmas festive season officially starts with the arrival of Sinterklaas and his legion of Zwarte Piet helpers in mid-November. 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. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device. Nowadays, working people in the Netherlands still receive gifts from their company, and often those are food baskets. But Sinterklaas doesn't come alone. 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. 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. If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual kerstpakket. You’ll heard Dutch Christmas songs played on radio stations and in shopping centers weeks leading up to Christmas day. You may change your settings at any time. 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. 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. Dutch Christmas Traditions. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). Families go to church together on Christmas Eve and then again on Christmas morning. 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. Christmas in the Netherlands is similar to the experiences in the other western major Christian countries. I hope my attempt at hosting family this Christmas plays out like this! While Sinterklaas can be considered as the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, it has some differences. 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. Loved this article! Dutch Christmas trees (kerstbomen) appear all over the Netherlands soon after the Sinterklaas eve. My Dutch friend Jan, has told me that they celebrate the Holiday season starting from December 05th. Share this: 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. 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. Almost no one mentions that it is in fact the other way around. 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). Christmas in the Netherlands is celebrated over two days: 25 and 26 December, described as First and Second Christmas Day. Great information on this that I am using to teach about The Netherlands at our children’s Christmas Around The World Event at church. The Dutch name for Father Christmas or Santa Claus. Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. Image Credit: Frank Vincentz for Wikimedia. I miss much of such a cultured areas as we immigrated to Canada many years ago. Thank you again. It’s a simple but festive way to celebrate the holidays! See more ideas about Christmas traditions, Saint nicholas, St nicholas day. Christmas Traditions the Dutch Living In The U.S. Will Miss. In fact, Sinterklaas is much more popular than the Kerstman. Here we look at seven of the most popular family Christmas traditions and their origins. Specifically, in Lancaster County, in 1821, as is the first written mention of the Christmas tree tradition in the United States. 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. There is always food, new games, and novel gift giving ideas to get excited about. Christmas Wrapping. On the night of December 5, children clean and polish their boots and leave them outside the door before going to sleep. Tips for Befriending Dutch Students Everyone Should Know about, Stay Informed in Eindhoven: Top 5 Reasons to Read Eindhoven News. Christmas traditions are celebrated in households across the country and all over the globe. Gezelligheid. People put them up in public spaces and their living rooms and decorate them with lights and ornaments. Host Patrick Donmoyer shares the folklore and customs the Pennsylvania Dutch have celebrated for centuries during the holiday season on Pennsylvania German. Coolblue has an amazing collection of technology and electronics that are sure to be at a great price. Is your mouth watering yet? Although he has origins in Norse and pre-Christian mythology, Santa Claus took shape in the United States. Typical Dutch Christmas Treats Include (Christmas wreath cookies) Kerststol (fruited Christmas loaf) Kerstkrans (a wreath shaped pastry decorated with glace fruits and filled with sweet almond paste) Banketstaaf or banketletters (pastry logs or letters filled with sweet almond paste) Jan Hagel cookies (a fragrant and flaky Christmas cookie) Lights, candles, wreaths, poinsettias, and trees are strung during Christmas in the Netherlands, hung, tacked, taped, and placed in every available space. This is because the Dutch celebrate Saint Nicholas on 5 December during Sinterklaas as a separate event from Christmas. For example, a long-time tradition among farmers in the rural east is the ‘mid-winter horn blowing’. This is not to suggest the Netherlands does not observe the birth of Christ with religious fervor. Mark Oliver. While food is an essential ingredient in Christmas in the Netherlands, family is the secret additive that makes this holiday traditional. Dutch national holidays and traditions. Dutch Christmas traditions involve many unique holiday activities. Every article I read about this subject, people seem to think that Sinterklaas is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus. ~ Advent Calendar - Day 11 ~ Mirabelle and Flo are students participating in the Dutch language programme at GESS and they have some things to share about how they celebrate the Christmas season in their culture and families! Nov 8, 2019 - Explore Cathy Smith's board "Dutch Christmas foods", followed by 164 people on Pinterest. This is a Christmas gift box that bosses distribute to their staff shortly before Christmas as a traditional sign of gratification for the hard work performed in the past year. Among the religious population, not all Christians knew the meaning of Christmas either. You can check the website of your local municipality for a list of events. Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is a Christmas tradition that takes place every year on the 5 th of December in the Netherlands. Even when the Dutch were kicked out of Manhattan in 1664, Sinterklaas was still celebrated in the region, further infused with English Christmas customs. 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. 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. Now that that is out of … 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). Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Don’t be confused though, because the second arrival is the one most expats will be accustomed to, namely Santa Claus (Kerstman in Dutch). St Nicholas Day (Sankt Nikolaus Tag) St Nicholas Day is a favorite holiday with German children. Keep learning Dutch with us! 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. He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. 3 minute read. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. 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