Origin and History of Easter in Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a constituent country, situated mostly in the North-West Europe, with some parts in the Caribbean. Commonly referred to as Holland, the Netherlands is largely occupied by people of Dutch origin, which can be seen through its rich heritage and unique culture. Easter holds a special significance in the Netherlands during which many age-old traditions and customs are practiced. Easter is a Christian festival celebrated to mark Jesus' resurrection after his crucifixion. Besides, it is also a carnival time to end the somber period of fasting, known as ‘vastentijd’ (Lent). Some other beliefs relate to the origins of Easter in the Jewish festival ‘Passover’ which is also celebrated around the same time of the year. There are many symbols of Easter which are commonly visible in the Netherlands during Easter, such as leaves, spring flowers, chicken, and most importantly lambs (New born) which represent the sacrifice made by Jesus.
Local name: Eerste Paasdag
Ways to celeberate Eerste Paasdag in Netherlands
Celebrations of Easter festival in the Netherlands are quite similar to other countries in the West. Festivities begin from the Palm Zondag (Palm Sunday) during which Dutch children make a procession from one farm to another collecting eggs for organizing special Easter sports in the following days, with the help of a decorated stick called Palmpaas or Easter Palm. People decorate boiled eggs and hide them around their houses and in gardens. When found, children are told that these eggs are delivered by mythical Easter hare, known as “Paashaas” in the local language. Various Easter egg hunts are organized by many organizations as part of the festive traditions. The most remarkable and distinct tradition of Easter celebrations is the Easter Fire (Paasvuur), observed in the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands, which is lit on Easter Sunday at sunset. ‘Eiertikken’ is a popular Easter game in the Netherlands wherein people knock eggs together to see which breaks first. The Easter feast includes ‘Paasbrood’ (a rich loaf of bread filled with raisins, nuts and marzipan), lamb delicacies, and egg or bunny shaped sweets or chocolates.