Coronavirus-proof Christmas events in the Netherlands this winter
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With all that has happened in 2020, it’s about time we were able to inject some festive cheer into our lives, and in any normal year, a foolproof way of doing that would be to visit a Christmas market.
However, coronavirus measures mean that a number of events and markets across the Netherlands have been cancelled. But don't worry! Here's a list of some Christmassy and coronavirus-proof events that you can partake in, to get in the mood for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Cancelled Christmas markets
Some of the most popular and most successful Dutch Christmas events have been cancelled for the 2020 / 2021 winter season. Ice Amsterdam - the popular and picturesque ice rink on Museumplein in the Dutch capital - has been cancelled, and it is not yet clear whether the accompanying market will be going ahead.
The Valkenburg Christmas Market has also been cancelled and will only return in 2021, as will the Country and Christmas Fair in Utrecht and the Christmas Market in Dordrecht. Archeon have also been forced to cancel their magical Midwinter Fair, and the annual Winter Fair in Rotterdam will not be taking place this winter.
6 Christmassy events in the Netherlands
While many markets have been forced to cancel, there are still a few events taking place this festive season that offer the opportunity for the perfect day out for families and kids during - and leading up to - the school holidays. Some markets will be taking place outdoors, so make sure to wrap up warm and keep an eye on the ever changeable Dutch weather.
Hoping to kick-start the festive season with a trip to a Christmas market? Here are some of the markets and events still taking place.
1. Lichtjesavond, Delft
The city of Delft has cut down on a lot of their annual festivities this year. But, if you're on the hunt for a way to get festive but aren't too keen on going out to an event in the middle of a pandemic, then why not tune in to watch Delft's lichtjesavond via a live stream on December 8. From the warmth of your own living room, watch as one of the largest Christmas events in the Netherlands goes online and the city switches on their Christmas tree lights.
2. Gouda by Candlelight
Similarly, Gouda have decided to transfer their traditional celebrations to an online platform. Gouda by Candlelight will be a digital event this year, and you can tune in via a live stream to watch as the Christmas lights are switched on. Many of the elements of past events will be there, including the telling of the story of the birth of Christ, but it will look a little different in this, its 65th year.
3. WinterWelVaart, Groningen
December 18 - 20
The traditional elements associated with WinterWelVaart (Winter Prosperity) celebrations in Groningen are unable to go ahead this year, but the organisers have come up with alternative ways to take part. Those looking to get involved can purchase a Christmas box and get all the Christmas market goodies delivered right to their doorstep. Or, you can head into Groningen and use your mobile phone as a guide as you enjoy the theatrical listening route set up by organisers.
4. Magical Light Route in Maastricht
November 26 - December 31
The Magical Maastricht Christmas Market is probably the most popular market in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, this year the typical market cannot go ahead as planned. However, Maastricht will still be lit up in honour of the festive season, so residents can follow - at a safe difference - the Magical Light Route through the city.
5. Visit the Christmas tree on Dam Square
Normally, the Christmas tree on Dam Square in Amsterdam is surrounded by festive market stalls selling all kinds of gifts and snacks. Sadly, the market won't be going ahead this year, but that shouldn't stop you from going out and enjoying the sight of a beautifully decorated 20-metre high Christmas tree!
Enjoy the festive season this year!
Whether you decide to partake in the festivities from the comfort and warmth of your own home, or are hoping to visit one of the Christmas events taking place this winter, have a very happy (and safe) festive season!