The Netherlands has such an intriguing culture, full of unique festivals and fascinating languages to learn. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to pick up some Dutch, as the country has three official languages—Dutch, English, and German—as well as many dialects in each region. If you’re interested in learning more about the country’s fascinating festivals, read on!
The Tulip Festival
One of the most well-known festivals in the Netherlands is the Tulip Festival. It takes place in April or May and celebrates the tulip, which is the national flower of the Netherlands. During this time, tulips can be seen blooming everywhere, from public parks to private gardens. The festival also features music, dance, and other performances. There are also many stalls selling Dutch food and souvenirs.
The Thialf is also a well-known event in the Netherlands. It takes place every winter on an artificial skating rink in Heerenveen, which is called Het Eeuwige Ijs. The Thialf holds around 200 events each year, such as musicals, dance shows, film screenings, markets and family activities. The name of it comes from what used to be there – until 1983 there was a speed skating oval where skaters would hold racing competitions in front of large crowds.
Mardi Gras is a festival that takes place in different parts of Europe, but is mostly celebrated in The Netherlands. It falls between November 4th to 11th, although celebrations are held all month long. During Mardi Gras people dress up in costumes, dance and sing. There are also plenty of events happening around it that you can attend. These include parades, musical performances and firework shows. Traditionally on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) people celebrate by wearing costumes and throwing food at each other outside churches after Masses end for Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day – it’s a very traditional Dutch way to celebrate!
Pinksterbloemdag (Dutch Pentecost)
The Dutch culture is one that has been known for its art, architecture, and artefacts for centuries. This festival celebrates the pink blossoms that dot the country’s landscape. It is a time when people come together to enjoy music, food, and drink. The streets are lined with stalls selling all sorts of goods, from clothes to food. There is also a parade that goes through the city, which is a sight to behold. If you’re in the Netherlands during Pinksterbloemdag, you’ll definitely want to check it out!
The Dutch language is as fascinating as its culture. It’s a beautiful language that is much like others, but still distinct in its own way. The country has several other festivals that celebrate language, including National Language Day on February 22nd, which celebrates their national language (similar to Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo). This day commemorates a battle fought between Spanish forces and a small army comprised primarily of students from Leiden University who refused to recognize Philip II as their sovereign. In order to inspire them before battle, Professors Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and Hugo Grotius collected all written works in Dutch so they could better understand each other. When they emerged victorious from battle some time later, National Language Day was declared as an annual celebration of their victory against tyranny.
Kings Day (Koningsdag)
It’s a fun day filled with orange-clad revelers, street parties, music, and more. The Dutch love their festivals, and there are plenty to choose from throughout the year. From food festivals to flower festivals, there’s something for everyone. And of course, no trip to the Netherlands would be complete without admiring its architecture and artefacts.
it was originally introduced by Queen Wilhelmina in 1885, as a celebration of her father’s 70th birthday, although commemorating King William III is actually a tradition that dates back to at least 1417. Today Kingsday has evolved into an annual spring festival for all Dutch people. There are major festivities held throughout the country: festivals with many parties, open air concerts and markets selling traditional spring products from 1 April onwards. It is celebrated in Flanders as well! King’s Day was established as an official national holiday in 1955.
It falls on 27 April, which is also Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag). This holiday was first celebrated in 1885 to mark the birthday of King Willem III. Nowadays King’s Day is an annual spring festival for all Dutch people and held throughout the country. There are major festivities with many parties, open air concerts, markets selling traditional spring products from 1 April onwards. Flower Parade: On 20 September each year, thousands gather along Amsterdam’s canals for an exciting Flower Parade. It’s as much a feast for your eyes as it is for your nostrils!
Carnaval / Vastenavond (Mardi Gras)
The pre-Lenten Carnival / Mardi Gras season is a time of feasting and revelry in the Netherlands, culminating on Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras. There are many different Carnaval celebrations throughout the country, each with their own unique traditions. One of the most well-known is in Maastricht, where participants dress up in colorful costumes and parade through the streets playing music. Other popular Carnaval celebrations include those in Breda, Eindhoven, Heerlen, Helmond, Roermond and Tilburg.
After Carnaval, Dutch people celebrate vastenavond, or fasting evening. In general, there are two main days of vastenavond celebrations: Tuesday and Thursday (the actual date is usually selected based on local customs). Traditionally, a statue representing varkenshoeder Fikkie is taken around town in a parade. During vastenavond it’s customary to eat eel to break your fast. Another tradition involves placing your clothes outside before bed—if they’re gone in the morning you’ll have luck that year; if not, you’ll be unlucky.
There are many other types of Carnaval throughout Holland which vary from region to region with different traditions.
The Netherlands is home to many interesting festivals throughout the year. One of the most well-known is King’s Day, which celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Other popular festivals include Carnival, Easter, and Christmas. The Dutch language is also unique in that it has three official versions – Dutch, Flemish, and Frisian.
It is one of the official languages in Germany, Belgium, Suriname, Curacao, Aruba, Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles), and Flanders (Belgium). It is also an official language in several international organisations such as NATO. English has borrowed many words from Dutch over time, while Dutch has borrowed just one word from English: cookie. Frisian is another official language in Friesland (Netherlands) but it uses its own alphabet called Frysk Skrifletter.