As Holland.com describes it in its blog entitled New Year’s Eve in Holland,
New Year’s Eve is a big party in Holland every year. Most people spend the evening with friends or family, watch the famous ‘New Year’s Eve conferences’ and drink plenty of champagne while eating greasy oliebollen (a traditional Dutch pastry: deep-fried dough balls with raisins) and apple beignets. Until the fireworks explode at midnight…
This summed up my experience celebrating New Year’s eve the past 3 years here. The fun, delicious treats and fireworks are what stick out in my memory. You can literally experience fireworks all around you on every street in the villages of Bergen and Alkmaar, and of course Amsterdam. I’ve never experienced so many fireworks going off above houses, stores, and in the middle of the street. It can be exhilarating and a bit scary if you have a young child. But you can also easily find ear protection and eye wear at local hardware stores for your youngster if you plan to celebrate amongst your neighbors. In fact, I highly recommend it. And don’t forget to take care of your pets if you live near the village center. If they are afraid of thunder and lightening, they will likely be firghtened on this evening. Expatica has written a great blog on how to prepare your pets for this evening.
So how big and how many are there? Well it does depend on where you live. For example, we only heard a few here and there in Schoorl, but in the village of Bergen it was non stop from 11:30 – 12:30 pretty much over the entire center. They are not the size or noise level of something you would see a municipality- provided show, but they are much bigger than anything I’ve experienced set off in someone’s back yard. Be warned and have fun!
Traveling over the holidays? That’s ok! The whole winter is a wonderful time in the Netherlands, and we could write many pages on all of the wonderful things to do and see. Here’s a great piece on winter things to do all winter long.
And please be safe and healthy, and have a joyous holiday season!
Your ESB Parents Association