1. Food

Dutch Holidays

The most important holidays on the Dutch calendar are undoubtedly Sinterklaas, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter and Queen's Day. Each holiday has its own traditions and accompanying foods. Why not have a go at one of the many much-loved Dutch festive treats?

Kerstfeest (Christmas in Holland)
Xmas is celebrated over two days in the Netherlands, i.e. 'Eerste Kerstdag' (First Christmas Day) on December 25 and 'Tweede Kerstdag' (Second Christmas Day) on December 26, both of which are public holidays. Christmas in Holland is not centered on Santa Claus, crazy commercialism and gift-giving, but on the family and the ambiance of the holiday.

Oud en Nieuw (Dutch New Year)
New Year in the Netherlands consists of New Year’s Eve on December 31 and New Year’s Day, a public holiday, on January 1. The Dutch celebrate it much the same as in many other Western countries, but there are a few special treats unique to the Netherlands, such as 'oliebollen' and 'appelflappen' that are certainly worth trying.

Pasen (Dutch Easter)
The Netherlands has a history as a Christian nation, and follows the Christian holiday calender. Easter, a holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, is celebrated much in the same way as in other Christian countries. You’ll find the same penchant for chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts in Holland, but there are a few Easter traditions unique to the Netherlands.

Queen's Day
On April 30, Holland erups into one giant orange-clad street party. The excuse? To celebrate the Queen's birthday. Welcome to Orange Madness!

Queen's Day
On April 30, Holland erups into one giant orange-clad street party. The excuse? To celebrate the Queen's birthday. Welcome to Orange Madness!

Sint-Maarten holiday
In a feast similar to American Halloween, small Dutch children take to the streets on November 11 with flickering little lanterns to sing songs and recite poems. As a reward for their efforts, the kids receive candy and sweet treats.

St. Nicholas Eve -- The Story of Sinterklaas
The Dutch celebrate the feast day of Sinterklaas on Dec. 5 and 6 to commemorate the life of St. Nicholas.

Dutch Menu Ideas for the Holidays
From the lightest souffles to the most decadent desserts, here are a few of our favorite picks for the Dutch holiday table.

Easter Menu Ideas
'Pasen', the Dutch name for Easter comes from the Hebrew 'Pesach'. The Dutch celebrate the spring time feast in much the same way as other countries with a Christian tradition, but place a strong emphasis on an extended Easter brunch with fruit and almond paste filled bread, rolls and luxurious toppings.

Valentine's Day Menu Ideas
The Dutch don't fully embrace Valentine's Day. Many see it as a commercial import, or overly fake and cheesy. However, the holiday is gaining ground here and I, for one, am no Valentine's Day grouch. What's not to love about a day that celebrates love?

10 Dutch Holiday Treats
The feast days in the Netherlands are dominated by sweet treats and cookies that contain ingredients like spices, white flour, dried fruit, almonds and sugar. In days gone by, these goodies used to be extremely expensive, which is why their use was reserved for special holidays and parties. Nowadays, of course, we tend to eat speculaas ...

10 Dutch Appetizers
These delicious Dutch appetizer and savory snack recipes are ideal for everyday entertaining, parties and holiday get-togethers. Prepare in advance, so you can feed the hungry hordes without getting stuck in the kitchen yourself.

15 Meaty Mains for Father's Day
Our list of Father's Day dinner recipes for the meat-loving dad includes ostrich steak with blackberrry sauce, coconutty beef sand roast suckling pig.

20 Recipes for Sinterklaas
According to the old nursery rhyme, little girls are made of "sugar and spice and all that's nice", but the line could just as easily describe the Dutch feast day of "Sinterklaas" (St. Nicholas Eve)...

Favorite Dutch Foodie Finds 2012
Our 2012 list of favorite foodie finds might inspire you this holiday season with great gourmet gifts from the Netherlands.

Favorite Dutch Foodie Finds 2010

Looking for that great gourmet gift from Holland? This list of my favorite foodie finds should help you on your way this holiday season.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.