Interesting customs and traditions in the Netherlands

Hello everyone,

Living outside of our home country requires us to adapt to a new culture and different traditions. What are some of the cultural specifics in the Netherlands?

What are some of the traditional beliefs and cultural practices that you have encountered in the Netherlands that are different to your home country?

Tell us a bit more about some of the customs that you’ve found interesting, such as communication style, food, greetings, laws, or festivities.

What were your initial reactions and how did you adapt to them?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


The Netherlands experience was a very European one for me and my family. Although before shifting to Netherlands, we had visited other countries; but it is a different experience altogether when you start living in a country and get firsthand and close feel of the cultures and traditions of their communities.
Though on the surface; we hear different names of festivals like Halloween, Sinterklaas, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc; basically it is that time of the year when there is some sort of celebration going on in almost every country.

Usually festivals are centered around the cycles of the moon and the sun; ie the equinoxes and the natural changes visible in our natural surroundings and also somewhere related to harvest times in every country. It’s an expression of gratitude to Mother Nature for the abundance and blessings she provides us and allows everyone to share and enjoy with family and friends.  Baking cakes, preparing sweets and chocolates and a huge range of delicacies for children brings back childhood memories and creates bliss in our homes and around us.

The autumn break here coincides somewhat with the Indian Festival of Lights “Diwali “. Days become shorter, temperatures start falling and we start preparing for the oncoming winter season.

Christmas and New Year are also celebrated with equal fervor; not only here but worldwide.

The arrival of spring also is a time for celebration with colorful blooms returning and days start getting longer. Flower festivals in Netherlands like Tulip Day, Flower Parade etc signify the return of sunny days with the promise that summer isn’t far behind. This is my favorite time of the year. Kings Day celebration with orange color everywhere and the flea markets where children set up stalls and enjoy sunny days is another experience altogether.
Long days and blue skies and greenery everywhere is what makes summers special.
So enjoy every day of life, because ‘Life itself is a celebration’

TheForeigner :

For me the biggest cultural difference is customer service..........

Interesting, it would appear that Customer Service is almost as non-existent as their Health & Safety in the workplace. :)

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