New Year’s irons in the East of the Netherlands

Happy New Year everybody! How are you celebrating? In the eastern part of the Netherlands, in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland, there is a tradition of baking New Year's waffles on New Year's Day. Traditionally, these waffles were made using large irons which were put in the hearth. In 1999, my mother co-authored a book about these New Year's irons, for which I took photographs and did research. Several of these irons contained names and I helped to find out who … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Midwinterhoorn

Midwinterhoorn literally means "Mid winter horn." It is a wooden horn that is typical for the eastern part of the country. The horns are made of a curved branch of a tree, which is sawed in half length-wise, hollowed out and put back together with a mouth piece attached to it. In Gelderland and Overijssel, midwinterhoorns are traditionally played during the Advent season. They are often played over a well, to amplify the sound, which can carry over miles and miles. For me, … [Read more...]


It's almost December 5th, Saint Nicholas day. In the Netherlands that's a big event for small children, like Santaclaus in the US. In this article I will describe how Sinterklaas is celebrated in the Netherlands and our own family traditions around this holiday. … [Read more...]