Today we had our third meeting already. In the second meeting, we told each other we also wanted to learn more about the culture. So for the third meeting, I prepared some info about the national holidays and traditions in the Netherlands. We talked about Sinterklaas, Christmas, New Year, Easter, King’s day, Liberation day and Carnaval. Marketa also told about the common national days and there were a lot of similarities but also a lot of differences. She told me that they also celebrate Sint Nicolaas with Black Pete, Sint Nicolaas and there is also an angel that we don’t have in the Netherlands. Also almost every day there is a name connected to that day. For example, Marketa’s name day is the 13th of July which means she also gets presents on that day. And Sint Nicolaas his name day is on the 6th of December but they usually celebrate it on the 5th of December. I also told her about Christmas and how we spend it. We both decorate the Christmas tree, put the figures of Bethlehem under the Christmas tree and we eat together with our family in the evening. But they also have more traditions such as; they use a shell from a nut and there is a small candle in it and they fire it, put it in a bowl with water and they watch if it moves or not. When it’s moving it means that you will leave the house and when it stays it’s like nothing changed. We talked more and more about the culture. We also decided to do this as a trigger but then in our own language because then we would understand each other better. For the next time, I will bring pepernoten from the Netherlands that we always eat with Sinterklaas. And Marketa will bring something she always eats during Christmas.
In this photo, you can see the traditions with Christmas and Sint Nicolaas.