New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve or Silvester's Eve

The end of the year is coming into view. For a moment, the oliebollen with icing sugar are back on the table, the champagne at the ready and the fireworks near the front door! To count down to a joint: 'Happy new year!' and the new year is a fact.
New Year's Eve, the transition from the old year to the new year. A party that is celebrated all over the world!

The history of New Year's Eve

Every year on December 31, we celebrate New Year's Eve or Silvester Night, named after the Holy Pope Silvester. This last day of the year, together with the first day of the new year, together form 'Old and New'.
Celebrating this day is not something of this time. Some 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon, the Babylonians and Romans celebrated at the beginning of spring (end of March), all new year. For them, spring was the symbol for the beginning of the new year.
They also celebrated New Year in Egypt, but they did so sometime in September, when the Nile began to overflow (and created new crops).
It was not until 46 BC that Julias Ceaser took the most important step for our current 'New Year' when he decided that January 1st would be the beginning of every new year. This is still the case in Western countries.

New Year traditions in the Netherlands

Every country has its own traditions Old and new to celebrate. There are, of course, similarities, but also a few clear differences. In the Netherlands, New Year's Eve is celebrated with family and / or friends in most families at home. The oliebollen and apple turnovers are on the table, often combined with savory snacks and a nice glass of wine. The last few seconds are counted by many aloud and on TV there is always a New Year's conference in which the year is once again airy - and often with humor - is discussed.
In some cases, partygoers dress extra nicely to celebrate the evening in style. Of course you can also choose to organize a special theme party where all guests have to be dressed in a specific theme.
At 24.00 hrs the champagne or mulled wine is drunk and a toast is released on the new year. Followed by shooting kilos of fireworks into the air.

Everything about oliebollen

Oliebollen (in certain regions in Flanders also called smout dumplings or smout dumplings) is a traditional deep-fried yeast dough dish from the low countries. They are traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve in the Netherlands. They are also sold throughout the year at fairs in the Netherlands and Belgium in an oliebollenkraam.


Dumplings are made by dropping a quantity of batter in a pan with hot oil with two spoons and allowing the resulting, more or less spherical, oil-bulb to brown. With the help of an ice-cream tongs it is also possible to form a nice round oil bulb.
The batter is usually made from flour, eggs, yeast, some salt and lukewarm milk. Beer is sometimes used instead of yeast because it contains yeast. The batter should rise for an hour so that the oil bulb becomes sufficiently airy. Oliebollen are usually sprinkled with icing sugar.


There are various theories about the origin. The nicest is the reference to Germanic tribes in the area that would later be called the Netherlands. They would have eaten such baked goods at the time of the Yule festival, the period between December 26 and January 6. According to the Germans, the goddess Perchta and other evil spirits would wander around in the evening. To satisfy these spirits, food was offered, most of which was in deep-fried dough. Because of the fat in the oliebollen, Perchta's sword would slide off the body, so that those who had eaten oliebollen would not be ripped open. More likely is that the origin lies at the end of the Middle Ages. Christmas was the end of the Lenten period that started on November 11: reason to celebrate. Oil cakes, made from sustainable raw materials (all fresh food was already on) were a nutritious treat. The third option - probably in combination with the second one - is that the oliebol comes from Portugal. There is a suspicion that the Portuguese Jews fled to the Netherlands during the Spanish Inquisition and took their prescriptions with them. At the time, people ate something that resembled oliebollen in Portugal: oil cakes with (dried) southern fruits. The oil would refer to the oil from the eternally burning lamp in the temple of Jerusalem. Many Jewish dishes have a reference to faith.

The history of champagne

At festive times and traditionally on New Year's Eve there is often toast with Champagne! A sparkling white wine with bubbles. The name of this festive drink strongly suggests that the origin should definitely lie in France. But that does not seem to be true. The English were a little faster with this. In the seventeenth century they were looking for a sparkling wine, the French did this a century later. Documents have been found which show that the English were already in the Champagne in 1662 and for the French the earliest evidence from 1718.
Except for the time during the second world war - then drinking Champagne was a huge mistake - the drink has become increasingly popular.

Children's champagne

It goes without saying that alcohol is very bad for small children and pregnant women. But children are parrots and also want to participate, so also toast. Not with a glass of Ranje, but preferably also with a glass of Champagne. Nowadays there are brands of Champagne that offer special children's champagne. The bottle is the same, the content only differs slightly because there is no alcohol present. So also ideal for pregnant women!
Of course you can also opt for a simpler (and cheaper) solution, namely the Jip and Janneke champagne from the Hema. Incidentally, very nice to drink!

Everything about fireworks

At first you might think that fireworks were invented by the Chinese and that is not the case again. It was the Bengal who first discovered the fireworks. The word 'Bengali fireworks' still refers to the country of Bangladesh. However, it was the Chinese - at the beginning of this era - who started using fireworks on a large scale. At first she used it in religious events to drive out evil spirits!

Different types of

The consumer fireworks are distinguished in decorative fireworks and bright fireworks. Ornamental fireworks are in the form of fire arrows that shoot into the air as a whole, and pots or fountains that shoot small fireworks projectiles from the ground, and show a colorful bouquet there. The fireworks vary from heavy thunders, guns or astronauts to the lightest version, the firecrackers. In addition, you also have Fop or joke fireworks. This is consumer fireworks that can be bought all year round and can always be chipped. These include, for example, starlets, poppies, bengal matches, pull-up strings, whistles, and so on.

Sales days fireworks

Consumer fireworks are fireworks that are sold in the Netherlands in the three days before old and new. If one of the sales days is a Sunday, the fireworks will be sold 4 days in advance. Sunday will then expire as a selling day. According to the fireworks decree it is not allowed to sell fireworks on a Sunday. Consumers may purchase a maximum of 20 kg of fireworks per delivery, 10 kg per person, at recognized fireworks sales outlets, which may only be dumped 2 hours at night on New Year's Eve from 10 o'clock in the morning until New Year's Day. This fireworks may be purchased by anyone aged 16 and older. Other laws apply in Belgium, fireworks are also available here, and are also sold throughout the year.


In the North and East of the Netherlands, an alternative fireworks shot in the air, namely carbid. Carbide shooting is usually done during the day.

New Year traditions in Belgium

In Belgium, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with family and / or friends. Usually this is accompanied by serving an extensive meal, which ends with a - very late - coffee. Here too, the last seconds are counted out loud and at 24.00 clock everyone gives each other three kisses and New Year's wishes are pronounced. Usually this is accompanied by pronouncing good intentions. The fireworks for the day are then also obtained in Belgium.
In families that are baptized, the word - just after midnight - is given to the children, who traditionally read out their New Year's letter, in which they give their parents and baptism testers and godparents the best wishes. Then they receive a present.

Traditions New Year's Day

Not only New Year's Eve is full of traditions, but also on New Year's Day there are yearly returning rituals. Apart from, of course, the 'compulsory' New Year's visits, there is the New Year's Dive and the New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic every year. And do not forget the good intentions ... Again and again we try to start the year as well as possible. The good intentions are useful to learn certain habits, but it is of course very difficult to stick to it ...

The annual New Year's dive

With New Year's Dive the annual dive in the water is meant on New Year's Day. Especially in the Netherlands it has become a tradition and in many places the New Year's dive is held. In many other countries there are also new year dives, but the Netherlands has the most New Year dive sites and also in the number of participants. There are even foreigners coming to the Netherlands for the New Year's Dive.

The history of the New Year's dive

Ok van Batenburg (the Dive Master of Unox) and four friends made a test dive from the Zandvoort beach in 1959 as the opening of the official open water swimming season. A few days later, on 1 January 1960, Van Batenburg, together with his swimming club Njord '59, makes his first official New Year's dive. After this and subsequent dives, Ok's mother took care of homemade pea soup. The diving ritual, started in 1960 by Van Batenburg, has grown into a true Dutch tradition. Since 1960, the number of divers in the country has increased to 32,508 people who on 1 January 2010 are bracing the icy water. Unox has been supporting these initiatives in the country for years and provides every New Year's diver with a warm hat and pea soup. And not only in the Netherlands is the New Year's dive a great success: from Norway to South Africa, Dutch people organize dives on sixteen locations on New Year's Day. Although the question remains whether it is as heroic with these foreign dives as with a dive in ice cold water on Dutch soil. One thing is clear: the popularity of this traditional Dutch tradition is increasing even beyond our national borders.

The annual New Year's concert

The New Year's concert of the Vienna Philharmonic (German: Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is a concert that takes place annually on January 1st in the Golden Room of the Wiener Musikverein, the Vienna Concert Hall.

First New Year's concert

The first New Year's concert was performed on 31 December in 1939, but since 1941 the performance has been on New Year's Day. The program of the New Year's concert features light classical music, mostly from Austrian composers. The Strauss family often determines a large part of the program.
The fixed program is concluded each year with the concert roller An der schönen blauen Donau (Johann Strauss jr.) And the Radetzkymars (Johann Strauss sr.). In 2005 the Radetzkymars was not played in memory of the victims of the tsunami of December 26, 2004.

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