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.