Dutch term – Duivekater

A duivekater was a traditional diamond-shaped bread eaten on religious holidays, mainly Christmas. It was often highly decorated. I have sometimes come across the term in deacons' accounts where poor children were given them as a gift. They can also be seen on various paintings from the 1600s. It is not a common word but a fun one to learn on Christmas day. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Tweede Kerstdag

Tweede Kerstdag is the Second Christmas Day, like Boxing Day in the UK. It is an official holiday in the Netherlands. The Second Christmas Day was introduced to facilitate going to church multiple times, and to have some time off for contemplation and relaxation. Nowadays, the Second Christmas Day is often used to visit in-laws, go to a concert, or do some shopping in furniture malls. Prettige Kerstdagen! (Happy Christmas Days) … [Read more...]

Christmas in the Netherlands

Here are some of my favorite photos of Christmas in the Netherlands, from the collection of the National Archives in the Netherlands (CC-BY). You can click through to see the photos on the National Archives website. To all of you who celebrate Christmas this weekend: Merry Christmas! … [Read more...]

Dutch term: Kerstmis

The word Kerstmis means Christmas. Traditionally, Christmas was celebrated in the Netherlands by going to to church and celebrating at home by having extra nice food. Dutch people did not give each other gifts for Christmas, as that was done on St. Nicholas' Eve (5 December). Over the last couple of years, Christmas has grown in popularity in the Netherlands so today it is not just a holiday but also a time when many people share gifts. … [Read more...]