Plenty of countries celebrate someone’s 50th birthday as a huge milestone — and it’s the same in the Netherlands.
But the Dutch have yet another weird tradition when it comes to celebrating the golden birthday.
Namely, calling the celebrant “Abraham” for men or “Sarah” for women and filling their home and/or office with very questionable decoration. 🤨
What is it?
Indeed, Dutchies bestow the name Abraham or Sarah upon anyone who turns 50 in the Netherlands and wildly decorate your home or office with funky inflatables and possibly embarrassing posters, so people wish them a happy birthday.
Plenty of 50th birthday memorabilia from streamers and hats to cake toppers and cards are decked out with big 50 lettering and the names Abraham and Sarah strewn everywhere.
But here’s the million-euro question: who on earth are Abraham and Sarah?! 🤔
Why do they do it?
Well, it turns out that these weirdly specific names are biblical references to two people, Abraham and Sarah, who lived until very old age.
Once you turn 50 years old, you’re old enough to be “visited” by Abraham or Sarah, and they pass on their wisdom from old age. That is to say, you’ve become a wise person through years of experience.
And because it’s so important to the Dutch, they go all out with the decorations.
Abraham worden is een eer,— Henk Postma (@SchilderHenk) December 12, 2018
50 jaar gaan voorbij als een speer! pic.twitter.com/Sl4gkCncaP
“Becoming Abraham is an honour, 50 years pass like a spear!”
Turning 50 is really worth all the congratulations and decorative excitement, so they don’t shy away from the potentially embarrassing decor.
Overall, it’s a sweet sentiment — you lived long enough to gain all this wisdom and experience, and it’s a milestone to celebrate. 🥳
Why is it quirky?
Well, it’s interesting that the Dutch use Bible stories as part of a tradition for a non-religious celebration until now.
Granted, the Netherlands was known for being a Calvinist country in the past, but religion is not as important for a majority of Dutch people as it used to be.
To the average person, it seems like the Dutch are just throwing around randomly naming people when they turn 50.
Should you join in?
For sure! It’s always fun to celebrate a birthday, and Dutchies like to make 50th ones even more special.
Doesn’t this birthday feest (party) just look so fun and wholesome? Just know if you’re celebrating this special birthday here, you’ll be seeing lots of funny decor. 😉
What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below! 👇