Art and Culture

The Netherlands has a great history, and many famous artists and painters can trace their roots or originated from Holland, including Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

The Netherlands also have many of the holidays that America considers traditional. Santa is known as Sint Nikolaas or Sinterklaas in Holland, where they celebrate Sinterklaasavond (Saint Nicholas Eve) on December 5th every year. Later on, they have two Christmas days, First Christmas Day (Dec. 25), and Second Christmas Day (Dec. 26). The first Christmas day is much like ours, but the second Christmas day is reserved for singing, dancing, merrymaking, and caroling around a communal Christmas tree. Their New Years Eve, Zalig Uiteinded (blessed end), is celebrated the same as ours.

There is one family event observed all over the Netherlands, the birthday. The main attraction is the birthday person (jarige) and his parents and children. Their prime national holiday is Queen’s day (Koninginnedag), which is similar to our Fourth of July, and is a day set aside to honor the queen. Towns host parades, people party, and orange banners hang from government buildings, representing the House of Orange, the queen’s royal house. There are carnivals and many fireworks, and the queen visits two towns each Queen’s Day. This holiday is held April 30th of every year.

The Dutch also enjoy soccer, tennis, and skating. Nearly one million people are members of the Royal Netherlands Football (soccer) Association, and over 500,000 people play tennis. The Dutch people specialize in making cheese, dairy products, and they have very culturally diverse restaurants, borrowing foods from Indonesia and France.


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