New Year´s Eve in the Netherlands

In just a few days we celebrate the last day of 2010 and the last day of the first decade of the twenty-first century! In every country there are special traditions how to celebrate the end of the old and the beginning of the new year. Let´s take a look at Dutch traditions.

In the Netherlands people usually celebrate New Year´s Eve at home. Large New Year parties are not that common, apart from the large cities. Normally you spend the evening together with your family and friends, sometimes in front of the television. During the evening you eat oliebollen and apple turnovers. An oliebol is a deep-fried ball of dough, with or without raisins and currants. You eat an oliebol with your hand and covered in powdered sugar. The apple turnovers are also deep-fried and eaten with powdered sugar. At midnight you toast with champagne and wish everyone a Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! After the toast many people go on the streets and light fireworks. In the Netherlands cities do not have official organized fireworks. Instead of that, everyone is free to let off fireworks himself. The result is a bright coloured sky at midnight. The dark side is unfortunately many people with serious injuries and the feeling that you live in a war zone, due to all the bangs and explosions.

New Year´s Eve Comedy Show
The reason why people spend their New Year´s Eve in front of the television is because they want to watch the years ‘oudejaarsconference’. An oudejaarsconference is a comedy show performed by a cabaret performer and only performed on New Year´s Eve. It is a very special and Dutch tradition. The show is a humoristic review of events happened in the past year, like political issues, world news, sport events, celebrity news and much more. Sometimes the show is funny, sometimes completely not, depending on the performing cabaret performer. This tradition started in the 1950ties, first on the radio, later from 1966 onwards on television. In those days one famous Dutch cabaret performer, Wim Kan, managed to keep several millions of Dutch people fascinated in front of the radio and television. The New Year´s Eve Comedy Show is always broadcasted on a Dutch public TV channel, but for a few years, there are also shows on the private TV channels.


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