What a year, DutchReviewers!

We went from hearing reports of a mystery virus in China to wearing mouth masks, washing our hands raw, being banned from seeing friends and family or playing sports, dealing with border closures, and worrying about the world degrading into a post-apocalyptic wonderland.

(Of course, the working from home in our undies part was pretty good.)

Needless to say, we’re all ready to bid goodbye to 2020, year of coronavirus, and welcome in 2021, year of the coronavirus vaccine! (We hope).

How can you bring in the New Year in the Netherlands? Check out our tips below!

But first: what’s changed this New Year’s?

Here’s the fun part: the Netherlands, home of bureaucracy and a place where the residents utter “doe normaal” at the slightest hint of oddness goes crazy on New Year’s Eve.

We like to think that New Year’s is the Dutch equivalent of The Purge — Dutchies go wild, then settle in for a normaal nieuwjaar.

Fireworks: a New Year’s celebration with a bang

Fireworks are normal on New Years, right? Wheweee, you haven’t seen the Netherlands. The Dutch take fireworks to a downright mad level. In previous years, fireworks were completely legal to purchase all through December — from tiny sparklers, right up to giant, fiery rockets.

Children set them off, teenagers set them off, adults set them off, everywhere. Nowhere is safe. People sitting at home literally have to tape their door’s mail slot shut to stop maniacs from pushing fireworks into their homes. Some people lose fingers. Other people die.

No, we’re not kidding — this is real.

But this year, the Dutch government managed to push through a fireworks ban, and extra police will be on the streets looking for people flouting the rules. We’ll see if that stops them (we doubt it!).

Bonfires: a spark put out

Meanwhile, massive bonfires at Scheveningen have been cancelled to avoid the large crowds that they’ll inevitably attract. That’s not a bad idea, considering two years ago the bonfires morphed into giant fire tornados.

Nude swim: shrunk into non-existence

Wearing your birthday suit for a New Year’s dive in the North Sea, while wearing an orange hat — what is up with these Dutchies? Sadly, this bare-flesh event won’t be going ahead this year due to — wait for it — coronavirus. What a surprise!

What to do for New Year’s 2020-2021 in the Netherlands

So without fireworks, bonfires, festivals, and giant parties, how can you ring in the New Year? Here are just a few ideas:

Watch the fireworks from your window

“But you said fireworks are illegal!”

True, but that’s not going to stop the Dutchies. Grab the popcorn and stake out a good spot, because the Netherlands is going to get lit.

Get some baby fireworks

If you really want to satisfy the pyromaniac inside, sparklers and other small fireworks are still allowed. The only issue is where to buy them after the Netherlands went into hard lockdown.

Tune in for a free festival

Maybe we can’t go to a festival and rub our sweaty bodies on strangers’ sweaty bodies, but we can do all that other festival stuff from the comfort of our own home with GoodBye2020.nl — a free music festival streamed directly to your home with tons of Dutch artists!

Eat oliebollen and appelflappen

Oliebollen is the typical Dutch New Year’s food but, let’s face it, we can be convinced to eat an oily ball of dough at any time of the year.

Video call with your fam or friends

Yep, we miss them too (we mean our fam and friends, of course). Give your loved ones a call and wish them a “gelukkig nieuwjaar!” Extra points if they’re from a different time zone and already asleep.

Google “cornflakes”. Go on

When in the Netherlands, do as the Netherlands do. “Why were cornflakes invented” was the most Googled word in the Netherlands this year, so go ahead and see what all the fuss is about.

Tell yourself that THIS year you’ll actually learn Dutch

Yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it before. But this year? This is the one, for sure.

Stalk your friends on social media to remind yourself that they are real

As an Australian, I’m not looking forward to seeing pictures of the parties that will happen on my COVID-free island. But I’ll be damned if I’m not scrolling through social media anyway.

Make a real Dutch recipe

Feeling a little snackie? We are in the Netherlands after all. Go ahead and make some erwten soup or a few other delicious Dutch snacks. The diet starts tomorrow!

What will you be doing on New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: cottonbro/Pexels


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