When you enjoy typical Dutch food, are in for a bit of action and like the motto: get social with a local and visit this Dutch coastal region.  Here’s why to celebrate holiday season in South Holland in 2021.

Although at this time nothing is certain I do want to bring an update so you can start planning your  holiday visit to the Netherlands.  Do take in mind that the content of the festivals is subject to change. Festivals in 2021 are cancelled or take place online. As the Corona measures still apply, please use this post as a source of information for a future trip.

Magical festivities in cosy cities of South Holland

Traditionally, Gouda celebrates their winter highlight in the 2nd December week,. The festival Gouda by Candlelight will take place online on 10 December 2021. This event is celebrated for over 60 years. A tradition worth keeping!

The winter brings us darkness, but we turn the world in a magical festival of light. Festivals are definitely the best opportunity to connect with locals. Besides, the following cities are famous for their historical, cosy centres.  Delft brings the Dark Days and crowns the festive season with the lighting of the Christmas tree online on 14 December 2021, 7 PM.

why celebrate holiday season in South Holland Delft Gouda leiden

The lights & decorations in Leiden during the Winter Wonder Festival are mesmerizing. The highlight of this celebration is definitely the floating Christmas market and floating ice skating rink. Talking about unique ice skating rinks. In Gouda you can put on your ice skates and make a round in a church. (postphoned to 2022)

Have you been to these festivals or planning to go?

Dutch doughnut competition

Here’s a challenge for you. Try to visit as many oliebollenkramen – stalls where the Dutch doughnuts are sold- in South Holland and make a top 10 list. Thé oliebollentest is done by Dutch newspaper AD. Every year they ask oliebollen sellers in the whole of the Netherlands to present the best oliebollen with raisins and/or currants. Many stalls in South Holland participate. On the 1st of January AD publishes the results of the oliebollentest.

Let’s challenge the AD and make our own top 10!

New Year’s reasons why to celebrate holiday season in South Holland in 2022

Want to do something different on New Year’s Eve? The bonfire in Scheveningen takes place between the 27th and the 31st of December. Most probably its origin can be found back in the 1850’s, when the Christmas tree was first introduced and burned straight after the Christmas celebration. Nowadays this tradition is more of a competition to win the title of Largest Bonfire of the Netherlands during New Year’s eve. In 2015 it even became a Guinness Book World Record holder for the largest bonfire.  It’s a way to connect and strengthen the relationships that already exist. And it’s a good way to get to know the spirit of the people of Scheveningen, who value this tradition as much as Flag’s Day- Vlaggetjesdag– in June.

Did you connect with a local? Share your pics on twitter with the hashtag: #socialwithalocal .

New Year’s Dive and Dutch pea soup

Scheveningen’s New Year’s Dive is a tradition which started in 1960’s. Although there are over 200 locations in the Netherlands where you can take a dip into the sea or a lake, the beach resort near The Hague is the most popular. A Dutch brand specialising in typical Dutch winter food picked up on the event. It is now the main sponsor. You’ll get a cup of pea soup or hot chocolate after your New Year’s plunge ánd an orange hat. The hat is a true winner’s trophy, by wearing it everyone knows you ran into the cold sea on New Year’s Day.


What are your thoughts on why you should celebrate  holiday season in South Holland? Any festival, food or tradition you look forward to? Share it with us in the comments below or on social media!

You might also like:

Holiday tours & national events in South Holland

Spice up your love life in holiday season & Sinterklaas nuts

Feel the magic in Delft countryside


Vera ter Beest

Make your heart b(l)oom and explore Holland by bike with Verita's Visit Holland.
Born on a bicycle and raised in Delft (NL) I love the Dutch countryside. With Verita's Visit Holland I organise bike tours & team events. I take you on and off the beaten track to meet tulip growers, cheese farmers and lords of castles. My specialisation: Keukenhof area, Cheese farm region and Delft countryside. Just send me an e-mail at veritasvisit(@)gmail.com to get more info.

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