Dutch Christmas Traditions

Every country celebrates Christmas with their own traditions. People decorate their houses with tropical flowers in Costa Rica and in Denmark they have ‘ris á la mande‘ for dessert. The Dutch have some Christmas traditions as well. We’ve selected the four most interesting ones.

1. DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS

Although the Dutch like to complain about a lot but mostly the weather, snow isn’t one of the complaining subjects. Especially during Christmas, the majority of the Netherlands’ citizens are hoping for a white Christmas. The Dutch weather station defines a white Christmas as both Christmas days being covered in snow. Since 1901 there were 8 white Christmases.

2. HAVING A GOURMET DINNER

It is by far one of the most popular ways to spend dinner in the Netherlands. Gourmetten is somewhat similar to the Vietnamese hotpot or Korean barbeque way of eating. Everyone has his or her own tiny pan to put on a hot plate at the centre of the table. In these pans you can bake your own little piece of meat, vegetables or even cheese soufflés.

3. BLOWING THE ‘MIDWINTERHOORN’

One not so commonly known amongst the Christmas traditions, is blowing the midwinter horn. There are only a few villages left where the horn is blown. You can hear the sound of the horn near Twente, de Hoge Veluwe or Achterhoek at the first Sunday of Advent (blowing on). It is also possible to hear the sound at the sixth of January during the Twelfth Day (blowing off).

4. VISITING A FURNITURE BOULEVARD

This is by far the most odd Christmas tradition there is. During the second Christmas Day (which is also European and not global), a lot of Dutch people visit a furniture boulevard. “Why?”, you may ask. The answer is not crystal clear. Most of the Dutch just want to go out and do something during this extra day off. So the assumption is that they visit it out of boredom. A bit crazy in our opinion, because there are way more fun things to do!

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