Stress Stories: Dutch Christmas and what to do in Enschede

Dutch Christmas and what to do in Enschede

Dear members,

This year is coming to an end. Although most people will be celebrating by going to their families, this is not possible for everyone. In this Stress Story we will tell you a bit how traditional Dutch Christmas Breaks go and show you some options for activities to do in Enschede during the break.


Christmas in the Netherlands

Christmas Day in the Netherlands is celebrated on December 25 and 26 and is referred to as 'Eerste Kerstdag' (Christmas day) and 'Tweede Kerstdag' (Boxing day/second Christmas day). Christmas Eve is of lesser importance, but some families already gather for a Christmas dinner. Christmas Day is a quiet day in The Netherlands, with (for some) a church service and family meal.  On the second day people tend to visit their families and big shops are also often open on Tweede Kerstdag. Many people in the Netherlands have a Christmas tree in their houses. Note that many stores have special opening hours around Christmas time.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is usually spent with friends and family or going into town to see open-air concerts and the fireworks around the city. Fans of loud banging noises will have a field day, as overzealous children of all ages set off crackers. The red cracker papers turn the streets bright red. The tradition of setting off fireworks and crackers has something to do with old pagan customs of driving away demons so that the New Year could begin with a clean slate. At the stroke of midnight, firework displays brightly color the sky and the cacophony of people wishing each other a ‘Gelukkig Nieuwjaar’ (Happy New Year) can be heard all around.

New Year’s Day

In the Netherlands the 1st of January is traditionally celebrated with a new year's dive ('Nieuwjaarsduik'). No matter how cold it is, at least 25.000 people plunge into the freezing water each January. There are over 60 locations in the Netherlands where you can jump into the sea or a lake. The largest dive is held at the beach of Scheveningen, where well over 10.000 people plunge into the sea each year.



Things to do around and during Christmas in Enschede

Winter Wonderland

In the City of Enschede you can visit the Magical Winter Wonderland. The city is nicely decorated and there are small fairs. It is being organized from the 9th of December up until the 8th of January.

Ice Skating

During the Winter Wonderland you can go ice skating “indoors” at the Oude Markt.

Rijksmuseum Twenthe

this museum hosts different exhibitions which tell the story of the city of Enschede and various painters of the Netherlands.

de Museumfabriek

this museum focuses on life and work in Twente and especially the textile sector. You can also see a natural history collection.




Log in to read and post comments