Netherlands, if one searches in a globe, will find it in the north western part of Europe. The very beautiful nation of Netherlands celebrates its New Year festival day on January 1 according to the Georgian calendar. People of Netherlands are said to have one of the most unique and interesting New Year celebrations on the globe.
The traditions and customs followed during the New Year time are closely motivated and drawn by Dutch setters. People all across the nation still follow it willingly and profoundly, which is precisely reflected in its New Year celebrations.
New Year Celebrations in Netherlands
For the natives of Netherlands, New Year is one of the most cherished festivals of the year. The unofficial celebrations for New Year commence as soon as Christmas day ends. During the period in between of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, business organizations as well as people send out special New Year cards to all formal associations as a sign of gratitude and best luck for the coming year. Also, organizations confer bonus to its employees, and many of them also host a whole week New Year reception in the first week of the New Year.
However, the big day arrives with New Year’s Eve, which hosts some extravagant and highly vibrant parties in the town. Apart from the social parties organized at pubs, clubs, and hotels, private parties are also organized where close friends and family members of the host are invited only. There is also a largely followed routine practice of organizing social bonfires on New Year’s Eve.
All the people excitedly wait for the clock to turn twelve, and as soon as that occurs, everyone hugs and kisses each other, while conferring best luck wishes for the coming year. Also, fireworks are set off at midnight to light up the sky, with a belief that doing so sways all the evil spirits and negativities of the Old Year out and away. Toasts of champagne or wine are raised by all those present, and they sink it down their throat on the name of the New Year. Usually, people party and celebrate all night till the wee hours of the morning of the New Year Day.
New Year Day in Netherlands
The first day of the New Year usually saw people relaxing all through the day, and spending quality time with close friends and family. However, there are some who love to spend the day in some adventurous activity, such as hiking or cycling. Also, some others throw New Year parties and special dinners for personal and professional acquaintances.
Certain towns and villages organize New Year’s Dives are organized, as a part of which young people are challenged to short swim through an ice cold water of the North Sea, or some other lake or canal. It is more of a fun and adventurous activity, and is traditionally considered to bring good luck and healthiness in the coming year. It is immensely popular among the natives of Netherlands and few television channels cash in the same by live telecasting the show on television which gains tremendous viewership. Certain events on the day hold a social cause at its core, such as clearing up the litter which got blocked or polluted due to the fireworks set off at New Year’s midnight.
Traditional New Year Celebrations in Netherlands
There is an ancient New Year tradition of making visits to the places of near and dear ones on the day of New Year. It is important for them to have at least a glass of liquor of any form and eat something, from each house they visit. There is also a prominently followed tradition of exchanging New Year gifts. One also prefers to have any ring shaped substance, as it is considered to symbolize for the entire circle which life went through in the old year, and also considered as a figure of good luck.
There is a New Year tradition of preparing various special dishes of sweet dough and donuts on the occasion. Some of them which is necessarily required to be on the platter include oliebollen, appelflappen, duivenkater, waffles, knijpertjes and spekdikken. Each of them is a special kind of dish of its own, prepared by women of the house with lots of love and affection during the time of the New Year. Special concern is made to have the best silver and china crockery of the house to be placed on the eating table.