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Christmas Traditions
in Holland

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Christmas Traditions in Holland
Christmas is celebrated all around the world. Each country has different customs and traditions. Learn about the Christmas traditions in Holland. The people of the Netherlands refer to themselves as Nederlanders, or Netherlanders, but are also known as the Dutch. Different countries celebrate in their own way including different dates, food, drinks which lead to a variety of diverse Christmas traditions around the World! This article features popular Dutch Christmas traditions detailing the celebrations, gift giving, Santa Claus and other customs followed in Holland. We have even included some useful facts and information about the country, the flag and even the language!

Flag of Holland

Christmas Traditions in Holland
A tradition is a specific practice of long standing in which unwritten customs and practices are passed from one generation to the next. Traditions and customs form part of a country's culture and heritage. The following information provides some fast, interesting facts about customs and Christmas traditions in Holland:

  • The Dutch Sinterklaas is based on the real Saint Nicholas

  • Gifts and presents are exchanged on St. Nicholas' Eve (Sinterklaasavond) on 5 December

  • Saint Nicholas Day is the most festive time of the year in Holland, although in recent years Santa Claus (called de Kerstman) has started to make an appearance!

  • St Nicholas dresses in traditional bishop's robes and wears a red bishop’s hat, a red bishop’s cloak and has white hair and a white beard. His helper, Black Peter 'zwarte Pieten', wears traditional Spanish attire. Children put out shoes to be filled with gifts if they are good. If they have been bad Black Peter will take them away in a sack!

  • Saint Nicholas and Black Peter make many appearances in Dutch cities and often arrives with great celebrations by steamer. Parades through the town follow

  • The main square of every city has its own brightly lit Christmas tree

  • December 26 is also a holiday and is called Second Christmas Day

  • Dutch Christmas traditions and customs

Christmas Traditions in Holland - The Food!
What do people eat in other countries at this special time of the year? Festive feasts and recipes are traditional for special occasions including family dinners and meals. Interesting facts about the special food eaten as part of the customs and Christmas traditions in Holland:

  • Gingerbread and ginger cakes are popular as are sweets made with marzipan

  • Roast meats such as pork are popular as opposed to poultry such as turkey and is served with a variety of vegetables.  The Dutch enjoy Gourmetten  which is an eating style in which everyone cooks small, bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables on a table top grill.

  • A sweet Christmas Bread  called Kerststol containing a variety of dried fruits

  • Speculaas  which are spiced cookies

  • A favorite drink is the world famous Advocaat

  • Christmas traditions in Holland

Dutch Christmas Vocabulary
How do you say Merry Christmas in Holland? If you have friends or family who live, or have ties with, a different country it is a nice gesture to add a seasons greetings in the language of the country. A practical addition to learning about Christmas traditions in Holland:

  • How do you say Merry Christmas in Dutch? "Prettige Kerstdagen!"
  • What is the name for Santa Claus? Sinterklaas or Sinter Klaas is the name for the figure based on Saint Nicholas whereas the name for Santa Claus is de Kerstman

Facts and Information about Holland
Learn a little about the country of Holland, as well as its Christmas traditions! The following information provides some fast, interesting facts about Holland:

  • Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
  • Land Size of Netherlands : 33,883 sq km
  • Climate / Weather of Netherlands : temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
  • Dutch Capital City: Amsterdam; The Hague is the seat of government
  • Dutch Currency : euro (EUR)

Facts and Information about the Dutch Flag
Facts and info about the flag of Holland:

  • The history of the Dutch flag: Their flag was originally the Prince's Flag which was a tricolour of Orange, White and Blue - The Prince of Orange led a revolt against King Philip II of Spain and the Prince's Flag was used during the Dutch war of independence (the Eighty Years War). A Royal Decree was issued on February 19 1937, by Queen Wilhelmina, and the Red, White and Blue colors of the Dutch National flag were adopted. An orange pennant, together with the national flag, is still flown as a sign of allegiance of the Dutch people to the House of Orange

Christmas Traditions in Holland
This article provides an overview of the country and the different Christmas traditions in Holland. Lots of free, facts and information for kids, children and teachers! Popular Dutch Christmas traditions detailing the celebrations, gift giving, Santa Claus and other customs followed in Holland.


 

Christmas Traditions in Holland

  • Christmas Traditions in Holland
  • Dutch Christmas traditions and customs
  • Festive greetings in Dutch
  • Interesting Facts and Info about Holland - including the Flag of Holland
  • Read about Christmas Traditions around the World
  • Christmas Traditions around the world
  • For teachers, kids and children
  • Free, useful facts and interesting information
  • Christmas Traditions in Holland

Christmas Traditions in Holland

"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"

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