I spent NYE 2013 in Holland and heard “Gelukkig Nieuwjaar” more times than I can even begin to count. Including the standard three kisses too! By the end of the night I had whiplash from all the kissing and a frog in my throat from all the guttural “g’s”! In English we call December 31st New Years Eve, it is the Eve of the New Year and to me that makes sense. The Dutch refer to it as Oudjaarsdag or Oudjaarsavond, “Old Year’s Day” or “Old Year’s Evening” respectively because it is the night of the old year, which I have to admit makes sense too.
New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands just like everywhere else in the world stands for parties and fireworks. Traditionally, the Dutch will visit family and friends, eat oliebollen (doughnut balls), pop a bottle of Champagne at midnight and watch the firework. That’s what I did last year anyway. The Dutch have a more personal approach rather than a grand social affair. Post the midnight hour when the fireworks begin is when the night becomes more social.
I’ve never really spoken about Dutch foods all that much so this post will combine some classic Dutch foods I’ve tried and some typically festive dishes. I haven’t really got much to say about festive Foods to fill a post so I decided to combine some of my college food vocabulary list with my opinions. When I started planning for this post I didn’t realise how many typical Dutch foods I’ve tried. You will have tried some of these without realising they are Dutch. For those of you Dutch obsessed folk such as me…how many of these have you tried? Do you like them? Could you live off a Dutch diet?
Personally I like the majority of the Dutch foods I have tried but I do enjoy coming home to an English Roast Dinner and Breakfast food!
Phrases. This is where I think the Dutch and the English language differ in their little phrases and nuances. For “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” the Dutch say “Prettige Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!”.
At Christmas we love to sing songs, hell I love a good old sing song any time of the year but other people are more inclined to join in in December. I love hearing Christmas carols let alone hearing them in different languages. My Christmas playlist isn’t the same without Feliz Navidad.
Here are a few classic carols in Dutch or Kerstliedjes. You can tell what they are due to our languages being so similar, they sound rather majestic too. Give them a listen and see what you think! Obviously the pop music versions are all the same, I think the entire world knows a Slade song or two but in terms of the classics every language has their version. I heard the German version of Band Aid 30 yesterday, that was interesting.