In the Netherlands, the tradition of holding feasts and lighting special fires in the darkest part of the winter goes back many thousands of years. These are reflected in the festive and luxury meals served at this time of year and the fireworks and bonfires lit on the evening of December 31 and early hours of January 1.
There is also a long tradition of eating foods, which contain a lot of oil or fat, such as oliebollen and appelflappen. The tradition of eating foods containing a lot of fat may go back to the time of the pre-Christian Germanic goddess Perchta (Bertha). People believed that Perchta would fly across the sky with evil spirits in the darkest part of winter and try to cut open the stomachs of anybody she met. However, her knife would slide off the people who had been eating fatty foods.
Another tradition is the New Year´s Dive. Netherlands has the largest New Year’s dive sites and the largest number of participants. There are even foreigners to the Netherlands for the New Year’s dive.
“The dip in Scheveningen, where so in the winter cold for a swim in the North Sea takes, began in 1965 on the initiative of Jan van Scheijndel , the formerChannel Swimmer of the Swim Club residence. The dive was then taken by seven participants. In the course of time became the New Year dip of some eccentric fanatics to a massive event. Nowadays it is sponsored by the food manufacturer Unox , part of Unilever . This provides the diver with an orangeice cap , which the company acquires much publicity.
The number of participants in the event since 1999 fluctuated between 7,000 and 10,000. This compared to the 2000 New Year’s dive in Vancouver. In 2007, on the advice of firefighters, police, rescue, health services and the municipality the New Year’s dive in Scheveningen for the first time in 39 years canceled due to bad weather. The dip in Wierden ( The Low Field ) fell through. This was due to the algaeoccurring in the summer and was developed by the warm autumn weather had not yet disappeared. In Helmond was the first New Year’s dive at the last minute canceled due to insufficient transparency, but unofficially went anyway. The Zandvoort went diving in consultation with the rescue or by. About 800 swimmers took a dip for the new year to usher.
The traditional New Year’s Dive at 89 locations in the Netherlands was organized on January 1, 2012 attracted a record number of 36,000 participants, which is 12,000 more than the previous year. In Scheveningen names this time 10,000 people (maximum number of participants) a dive. This is due to the mild weather (13 degrees C) and the relatively warm waters of the New Year.”
In 1968 was like this:
In 2011 and 2012 was like this:
You pay everything in the Netherlands but this event is FREE what is quite rare and does not involve drinking bear or going to a festival.
Here is something different to do if you are in the Netherlands.
Happy New Year.