Dutch people are celebrating Thanksgiving just for the food, and we support them

Butchers have noticed that more and more Dutch people are ordering turkey for Thanksgiving over the last few years. But researchers don’t think that Thanksgiving will become as popular here as it is in the US, NOS reports.

Dutch turkey suppliers say they have seen an increase in the amount of turkeys being ordered for the fourth Thursday in November- with some even experiencing double the amount of interest they had last year. The catering company kalkoenbestellen.nl has even taken on more staff to deal with the increased demand.

“Just an excuse to eat well”

Most of the customers who order a Thanksgiving turkey in the Netherlands don’t actually have American roots- though there are, of course, a few expats. Cor Holtman of lekkerekalkoen.nl thinks this is simply because Thanksgiving is a nice holiday: “I am now celebrating it myself. It is a great opportunity to say a word of thanks. And yes: it is also just an excuse to eat well.”

Thanksgiving won’t become a major commercial holiday in the Netherlands

Professor of American Studies Mark Thompson (University of Groningen) doesn’t think that Thanksgiving will become as big here as it is in the US, though. The commercial sector might be disappointed, but this is not going to become a major holiday. “The Dutch are crazy about American culture, but this party is difficult to make commercial. It’s all about friends and family, not shopping.”

Lack of historical significance to the Netherlands

There is also the additional factor of historical significance. According to researcher Irene Stengs of the Meertens Institute and VU University Amsterdam, “Thanksgiving is linked to the birth of the US. It is also a national holiday there. And although we find it pleasant here in the dark November month, it will never get that load in the Netherlands.”

The Netherlands does have some links to Thanksgiving, though: Leiden was actually key to the origins of Thanksgiving, as it was the city where the Pilgrims stayed for a decade before embarking on their voyage to the Americas.

Have you jumped on board the Thanksgiving train? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: Craig Adderley/Pexels

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


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