Dutch New Year’s tradition is to enter the New Year with a bang. Would you dare to jump in a frozen sea or river on 1st of January, or turn your milk barrels into improvised canon? The Dutch my look so serious but they have their fair share of craziness during the end of the year. Let me share in this blog some of the Dutch New Year’s tradition that you might experience yourself, especially if you are internationals living in this lowland country.
What are the Dutch New Year’s tradition?
1. Dutch New Year’s dive tradition.
Do not be surprised if you see huge crowd of naked people running and swimming to the beach during the New Year’s day, especially with the freezing temperature. More than 25,000 people are following the tradition of taking the New Year’s dive according to Denhaag.com. The Scheveningen in the Hague is the most popular beach that people go to, with around 10,000 people taking a dive. Indeed it could be a refreshing experience for international who wants to have a Dutchified experience.
2. Burning Christmas tree.
Now that the Christmas is over, some people are burning their Christmas tree to turn into a bonfire to burn old stuff and to start something new. This could sometimes get extreme, because others such as furnitures and old year’s items could also be burned. Although a single New Year’s bonfire might sound innocent, when joined with thousands of bonfire, it can create smog warning in the Netherlands and even in Germany. If you are also interested to know more about the Dutch Christmas, check my blog here.
3. Eating Oliebollen and Appelflap as Dutch New Year’s tradition.
Simple Dutch snacks to enjoy during the winter are the Oliebollen and Appelflap. Be warned though that an olliebolen tent that have a good review might have a huge que (that could last an hour!). So better buy ollibollen or appelflap in the early morning or a day before. Making olliebolen might look simple since it is basically a piece of fried dough with raisins. However to hit the right texture of the dough, right temperature of the oil, and right size of the oliebol is considered an art and Dutch takes this very seriously. That’s why each year, oliebollen stands are being reviewed.
4. Watching cabaret show during New Year.
Watching funny, nostalgic, or even insulting cabaret show on the day before the New Year is common in the Netherlands. This also allows family, friends, or couple to sit together to laugh and to reminisce all the events that happened in the Netherlands as well as worldwide. So open your tv and tune in while waiting for the New Year to arrive.
5. Celebrate with fireworks in the neighbourhood.
A new year will not be a new year without a firework, even though fireworks in the Netherlands are very expensive and are highly regulated. Despite being pricey, it will not detour the real firework enthusiasts. Quite a few Dutch spends their entire Christmas bonus, or more, on fireworks. If you are an international who wants to save, don’t worry. There is no need to buy fireworks since many cities have their own firework shows and you will surely have one of those crazy Dutch in the neighborhood who will blow away thousands of euros in an hour just to go to a new year with a bang!