This weekend, Sinterklaas will already be returning to Spain and preparations are underway for Santa Claus’ arrival on the 25th. Many newcomers to Holland often wonder about these two popular bearded men and are they supposed to be related, do they know each other or, as an expat, whether you should be celebrating both. You can find out more on the subject here.
After Sinterklaas pakjesavond (5th December) the pepernoten will slowly disappear and the shops will start displaying Christmas decorations. In order to get into the right Christmas spirit, many events are taking place in and around The Hague during these next few weeks:
- The Cool Event in Scheveningen revolves around the Ice Skating rink in front of the Kurhaus Square (Gevers Deynootplein) that will last until Sunday 18th January and a Palace Fun Slide on the Boulevard (until January 25th). In the vicinity of the two, you’ll find many different fun and cool events for the whole family.
- The Koning Winter in Den Haag includes a winter fireworks display in Scheveningen on the Sundays leading up to Christmas… 7th, 14th and 21st December.
- On Thursday 11 December at 17:30 the candles in the Swedish Christmas tree will be lit on on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague. Traditionally the candles in the tree are lit around the 13 December, the day on which the Feast of Lucia is celebrated in Sweden.
- From 8 until 26 December, you can admire various retailers’ display windows which are part of the Winter Window Display Competition in The Hague. You’ll be able to cast your vote for your favourite Christmas display. This year’s theme is “Snow White”.
- On Lichtjesavond (Night of Light), Tuesday the 9th December, the Christmas tree will be lit on Markt Square in Delft.. You can take a Boat Cruise from The Hague to Delft (departure at 17:00).
- On Friday 12 December the Carpe Diem Symfonieorkest presents Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor, Opus 18 and Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5 in E minor Opus 64, at 20:15 at the Bergkerk (Daal en Bergselaan 50a, 2565 AE The Hague), and again on Sunday 14 December at 15:00.
- Friday and Saturday, 12-13 December, families can enjoy Gregorian Winter Chants with popular music, classical, rock and pop as well modern Christmas songs at the World Forum Theater (Churchillplein, 2517 JW The Hague).
- On Friday 12 December a musical program featuring the Christmas songs sung by the choirs HagaCantare and HagaSonare will take place at the Grote Kerk (from 15:00-18:00).
- The Grote Kerk will also be the location of other holiday concerts including: a Christmas Concert by the Christelijk Residentie Mannenkoor on Saturday 20 December (from 20:00-22:30) and a Christmas Wings concert with the Vocal Group CALL and master pianists on Tuesday 23 December at 19:30. The same day, at 14:30, will be a performance of “The Messiah” from Händel, under the direction of Pieter Jan Leusink.
- Those who prefer jazz can attend the Christmas themed night with holiday jazz at the COS Atrium (at Helenastraat 8, 2595 HA Den Haag) on Friday 12 December 20:00.
- Something that has become a Christmas tradition for many families in The Hague, is the annual Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, performed by Ashley Ramsden and organised by The English Theater with various showings from 12 to 20 December at the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague.
- On Friday 19 December, the Mariahoeve Sportcentrum will be hosting a Latino-themed Christmas Party with DJ Danny G, from 20:00.
- On Sunday 21 December The Hague Philarmonic Orchestra will present a Christmas performance of Bach at the Dr Anton Philipszaal (Spuiplein 150, 2511 Dg Den Haag) at 14:15.
- On Monday 22 December the New York Gospel Show will present gospels like “Oh Happy Day” and “Is Not No Mountain High Enough” and Christmas songs at World Forum Theater (Churchillplein 10, 2517 JW The Hague)
- The Asian Food Lovers “End of Year Meetup” will take place on Wednesday 10 December at the Full Moon Restaurant at Gedempte Burgwal 24-26 starting at 19:00.
- At the Bel Air Hotel Expats, Internationals, staff of international organisations and companies and the internationally minded will celebrate a Christmas X-clusive on Saturday 6 December (Bel Air Hotel , Johan de Wittlaan 30, 2517 JR The Hague)
- Crazy Pianos will host the Christmas Dinner Party from Wednesday 24 December to Friday 26 December, (Strandweg 21-29, Scheveningen, 2586 JK Den Haag).
- Other Christmas Lunchs and Dinners will be offered at The Penthouse Restaurant (in the building Het Strijkijzer, with a wonderful view over the city of The Hague) on the 24, 25 and 26 December.
Christmas Markets and Food Festival:
You don’t need to travel to Germany or Belgium to enjoy a Christmas Market. There are many fine Christmas markets all around the Netherlands.
- The Home Made Winter Market will take place on Sunday 14 December from 10:00-17:00 on Grote Kerkplein. You’ll find locally made holiday products like cakes, cheeses, Burgundian delights, clothing, vintage design, etc. Hofkwartier, Prinsestraat/Torenstraat/Kerkplein/Molenstraat/Oude Molstraat, The Hague.
- Don’t miss The Hague Christmas Market on 18 December on the Lange Vijverberg, or the Christmas Market in Scheveningen on Wednesday 10 December (10:00-16:00; Muzee Scheveningen, Neptunusstraat 90-92, Scheveningen, 2586 GT Den Haag), or the Royal Christmas Fair from the 17 December until 21 December (each day from noon until 21:00).
- At the Wintersch Food Festival from 12 to 14 December (Strandweg 1-a, 2586 JK The Hague), you’ll find typical dishes and drinks from The Hague region.
- Bink36 (Binckhorstlaan 36, 2516BE The Hague) will be the location for Wintermarche, a market full of original Christmas gifts.
There are many other Christmas events, many families are looking forward to in the next weeks, like the annual Christmas Circus at Malieveld, with international talents like flying trapeze artists (from Moskow), “Wheel of Death” (from Switzerland) and more (from Saturday 20 December until Sunday 4 January).