Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas In The Netherlands - 10 Fun Facts

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Last week my children and I had tons of fun at our homeschool groups Christmas Around The World Celebration. Each family got to choose a country of their choice! Then we each created a display board that told about our country's holiday traditions. We also made a traditional holiday treat and hand-made ornament that represented our country.

My children choose the Netherlands as our country. We learned a lot about the country including their Christmas celebrations. For our treat we made marzipan balls using this recipe. And for our ornaments we made a toilet paper tube windmill and paper Delft pottery piece. Gwyn spent hours creating our display board. She hand wrote all of the information and we printed lots of pictures off the internet. We also utilized this FREE country lapbook.

Here are 10 Netherlands Kerstfeest facts we learned:
1) Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten visit children on December 5th.
2) Children fill their shoes with hay and sugar for Sinterklaas's horse and when they wake up they find their shoes filled with small gifts, nuts and candy.
3) The people of Twente in east Holland hold a special Advent ceremony where they blow into special horns to chase away evil spirits and to announce the birth of Christ. The horns are made out of one-year-old saplings and are 3-4 feet long. 
4) Christmas Day is a much quieter day in Holland, with a Church Service and family meal.
5) In Dutch Happy/Merry Christmas is "Prettige Kerstfeest."

6) Christmas in Netherlands is celebrated for two consecutive days, December 25th and 26th. The first Christmas Day, December 25th, is known as “Eerste Kerstdag” meaning “the first day of Christmas” and second day, December 26th is called “Tweede Kerstdag” meaning “Boxing Day”.  
7) On the day of Epiphany, January 6th, kids, dress up as the Three Wise Men and travel around the city carrying lanterns reenacting “Driekoningen” and singing carols. In return, children are offered cakes and sweets.
8) In the Netherlands roast meats such as pork and a variety of vegetables are served for Christmas meals.  The Dutch enjoy "Gourmetten" which is an eating style in which everyone cooks small, bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables on a table top grill. Gingerbread and ginger cakes are popular as well as sweets made with marzipan. Another traditional food item around the holidays is Christmas Bread called "Kerststol" which contains a variety of dried fruits.
9) People in the Netherlands decorate their homes using things from nature like pinecones, holly and evergreens.
10) “Kerstmarkt” which are Christmas markets are very popular in the Netherlands.

Here is a video of all the kids presentations:

For more information about Christmas in the Netherlands visit my Pinterest board!

Be sure to browse through all of our other Top 10 Posts!

Has your homeschool group ever done anything like this before?

Linking up with: Top Ten Tuesday


Lemon Lime Adventures said...

When I was a teacher in the classroom, I always did Holidays around the world. As a new homeschooler, I missed that this year. I plan to try to incorporate this next year! Thank you, what a wonderful post!

Emma Craig said...

That sounds like so much fun! I love learning about how other countries celebrate!

scentednights2002 said...

What a fun way to learn about other countries! I love learning that's fun.

Mitch said...

Thanks for the info. We in America tend to thin the way it is here is the way it is everywhere, and it is not. Different countries have different traditions and that is the beauty of the world!

brett said...

this is really cool. i love how much you learned about each of the countries!! i like the decorating with nature tradition

Liza @ VFtV said...

What a fun homeschool theme! I love that they chose the Netherlands - my father's family is originally from Denmark so this was an interesting read for me.

Stacie Haight Connerty said...

What a fun idea to learn about other cultures! I love the idea of grilling meat on the table top.

amethystmoon said...

This was so interesting! I like that they still use things from nature to decorate which goes back to the ancient Yuletide celebrations. I would love to go to the Netherlands for Christmas!

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