Dutch Quirk #58: Go ice skating whenever possible

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #58: Go ice skating whenever possible

They’re tall, with legs of steel thanks to all the biking, and they live in picturesque towns with canals that freeze in the winter. It all logically leads to this, right?

Forgive my blunt over-fascination by this quirk. Years of Floridian weather have left me in awe over many Dutch things, including their serious ice skating obsession.

What is it?

Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — and that’s what ice skating is for the Dutch, a natural reaction.

As soon as the canals and lakes freeze, they react.

It’s part of Dutch history. Feature Image: Rob Bogaerts/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Seasonal skating rinks? The Dutch are the first ones there to prep for the year and sharpen their blades.

Come January or February, they’re already daydreaming in wonder if it’s going to be cold enough for an Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour).

Why do they do it?

Ice skating is part of Dutchies’ winter culture, which is the result of a perfect blend of historical factors along with winter conditions.

Also, they’re master balancers with years of training on bicycles and an odd trust in ice.

It’s not unheard of to even find buggies or prams on the frozen canals — which can push some internationals to a nervous breakdown.

Why is it quirky?

The fact that they have an ice skating tour as a potential placeholder on their winter calendars should give you an idea of why this is delightfully quirky.

It was even an item of discussion on the Dutch cabinet’s agenda in 2021 when considering safety measures in light of a global pandemic.

So yeah, it’s a full-blown cute Dutch obsession.

Should you join in?

Absolutely, but safely. ⚠️ Don’t be the first one jumping towards a frozen canal as soon as the temperature drops.

If you’re a beginner, opt for safe ice skating locations or wait until the ice is solid and safe enough to hold people’s weight.

The Dutch are experts, so perhaps it’s best to let them venture out onto the ice first.

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below! 👇

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2021, and was fully updated in December 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Unsplash
Farah Al Mazouni 🇸🇾 🇺🇸
Farah Al Mazouni 🇸🇾 🇺🇸
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or “welcome” to her latest adventure in this wonderland.


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