The Dutch don't call Santa Claus by that name, instead in the Netherlands he is called Kerstman, or Christmas man. 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). He’s a trickster who plays pranks and tosses candy in the air for young children. Christmas is the 25th of December, but this is referred to as the Dutch as the 1st Day of Christmas. Try it Free Find it at your Library. 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. 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. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. I have deep hearted ties to there and have soft thoughts to a magical place in the world. The holiday is celebrated on 6 December in Belgium. There are many different ideas on how this practice came into existence. 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. The background of the engraving contains now-familiar Santa images including stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace. 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! See more ideas about Christmas traditions, Saint nicholas, St nicholas day. Dutch Christmas songs. Christmas and PA Dutch Traditions by Bryan Hay. Families go to church together on Christmas Eve and then again on Christmas morning. ), his assistant whose face is covered with soot and who's the one going down the chimney to leave gifts for children. Now that that is out of the way, let's get to some Dutch Christmas traditions. 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. Christmas Wrapping. This is the day where families gather, have dinner together and exchange presents. 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 comes early to the good children of the Netherlands. Many people will also display a nativity scene with their Dutch Christmas decorations. 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). Dutch trees always have a peak. Thank you for the remarks and detailed explanation on the history of Sinterklaas. The Dutch also celebrate by eating gourmetten, a hot plate on which diners place a set of mini pans containing their choice of meat or vegetables. 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. Legend has it that he is accompanied by a servant named Black Peter who … 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. Specifically, in Lancaster County, in 1821, as is the first written mention of the Christmas tree tradition in the United States. 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. Creating the horn to actually make noise is a trick requiring plenty of practice! 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. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas. Streets can become very busy leading up to the big day, indicating that Christmas in the Netherlands has also not been immune to commercialism. Coolblue has an amazing collection of technology and electronics that are sure to be at a great price. There is always food, new games, and novel gift giving ideas to get excited about. Is your mouth watering yet? Very interesting. This usually allows them to spend time at both sets of in laws and avoid the hassle of having to choose each year. 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. TransferWise. This custom begins on Advent Sunday (the fourth Sunday before Christmas) and continues until Christmas Eve. Without the Dutch Sinterklaas, there would likely have not been a Santa Claus. 42 Disturbing Facts About Bizarre Christmas Traditions. Could have used more explanation, but loved it. This is because the Dutch celebrate Saint Nicholas on 5 December during Sinterklaas as a separate event from Christmas. Have you noticed an interesting Dutch Christmas tradition? In the Netherlands, Santa Claus is known as Sinterklaas.He differs in appearance from Santa Claus in that he is tall and slender, wears a dark red robe and a hat similar to a bishop's attire, and is often portrayed as elderly with a long, white beard. 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. Furthermore, Dutch also have their own Father Christmas or Santa Claus called. Christmas and PA Dutch Traditions by Bryan Hay. 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. 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. Wait, what?! Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. 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. Dutch national holidays and traditions. You can make them in just a little over half an hour. 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). Nowadays, working people in the Netherlands still receive gifts from their company, and often those are food baskets. ) 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. I hope my attempt at hosting family this Christmas … 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. 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). One of the first Dutch Christmas songs I ever heard and learnt. Another one of the fun Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas traditions is to hang the Christmas tree upside down and decorate it. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas. Another custom is to place an Advent wreath in the living room with four red or yellow candles. In fact, Dutch Christmas traditions have some particular elements that you should be aware of in this festive season. Despite the arrival of Sinterklaas earlier in the month, a second bearded man, also dressed in red, makes his way to the Netherlands on Christmas Eve. Christmas in the Netherlands is celebrated over two days: 25 and 26 December, described as First and Second Christmas Day. Host Patrick Donmoyer shares the folklore and customs the Pennsylvania Dutch have celebrated for centuries during the holiday season on Pennsylvania German. The Dutch love their trees – in fact they love Christmas decorations in general. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). 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. All rights reserved. It’s such a good reminder of a time when I was in Nederland as a very little girl. 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. Some of the typical treats are: Music has an important role in Dutch Christmas traditions. This occasion plays a vital role in Christianity, a powerful religion in the … One of the first Dutch Christmas songs I ever heard and learnt. Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. 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. Gezelligheid. Check out Coolblue for interesting light arrangements like this Phillips lightstrip. And for dessert, there is usually some sort of pudding, followed by a cup of warm hot chocolate with whipped cream. While Sinterklaas can be considered as the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, it has some differences. 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. Your choices will not impact your visit. , this might be the first time you experience Dutch Christmas. Martina, Thank you for sharing this with us Martina, hope that you enjoyed the article and Merry 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). Aug 17, 2019 - Explore Jayme Blazian's board "Dutch Christmas", followed by 160 people on Pinterest. This warming drink is significantly more peppery than other European variants and contains traditional Dutch spices like anise, nutmeg and cinnamon. 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. 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. You will also find the more usual Dutch Christmas songs: You can find music and English translations here. 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