Dutch term – Pasen

Pasen is the Dutch term for Easter. In the Netherlands, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are official holidays and most people have the day off.

Most of the Easter traditions that are celebrated in the Netherlands are pretty universal, like painting and hiding eggs. In the eastern part of the country there is a more unusual tradition: Easter fires (Paasvuren). For weeks before Easter, people will be busy collecting wood to create a high pile. This is then lit on Easter Sunday or Monday. The tradition is so popular that the whole eastern part of the country smells like smoke on these days, especially if the weather is a bit foggy.

group of children pulling a cart loaded with wood

Collecting wood for the Easter fire. Credits: Klaas van Buiten, Nationaal Archief

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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