Well, this is the first holiday season I spend in this side of the world! In Honduras 🇭🇳 we celebrate Christmas and New Year big time, going to mass, reunions with family and friends, food, fireworks, gifts, more food (which we end up eating like for the whole next week), karaoke, drinks and a nice family time. We heard that in here they don’t celebrate Christmas that much, however, historically it was a very Christian part of Europe, so they have a first and a second day of Christmas as days off (25-26 December), we decided to spend this long weekend in Brussels, you can see all about this trip in here.
Museumplein Ice village and Christmas market. The ice rink is open from 18 November to 4 February 2018. There is also a carousel, plus the market which are a variety of shops of artisans, many food stands and trucks, of course mulled wine could not be missing, which is a hot wine cooked with some spices, delightfully warming and served for this holiday season. The shops were open from December 20-30.
Christmas Village in Amstelveen was nice, but very small vs the marketing they make to it, it was an ice rink surrounded by ten to twelve stalls and the day I went in mid December only like seven were open. However, I found a jewel in this place! They eat a lot of dried fruit in the lowlands and in this market they had dried Hibiscus 🌺 💕 OMG they are delicious! Now I have been looking for them in Amsterdam’s markets but unfortunately haven’t found them, just tea leaves 😦 If someone knows were can I get them please let me know!
Amsterdam Light Festival. The streets are decorated with many lights during Christmas in Amsterdam and the decos started since early November. But not only the streets light up. From 30 November 2017 to 21 January 2018 the canals are also decorated for the Amsterdam Light Festival, a lot of people like to appreciate them in a boat tour.
Fireworks 🎇 Since the beginning of the month you hear every now and then a couple of fireworks popping but from the 29th their use increased significantly and the 31st we heard them all day long of course from 22:00 and up it was non-stop! These were mainly just the boom 💥 ones but at midnight it was crazy and so cool! You can see the firework lights everywhere, families all ages enjoying the view and firing a couple boxes of their own and sharing a good time in the streets. The fireworks lasted continuously for at least 50 minutes, after that the frequency reduced and the next day we just heard a couple of them, the leftovers 😂 😛
Another very popular thing are Oliebollens. They are balls of donuts dough, fried and then sprinkled with powder sugar, these are the “naturel” and they also make some others varieties with raisins or nuts. They are both good, they eat them cold or warm. They are just made in this season and almost every bakery and market has them, along with some seasonal food trucks! So in this time of the year people take their signs out screaming “Oliebollens” which by the way means “oily ball”.
If you want a fresh start, take a new year’s dive: This is a pretty crazy tradition… they run into the north beach on January 1st and take a plunge into the freezing cold waters!! See more here.
Definitely not going wild with this last one, but maybe I’ll be participating a bit more in next year’s holidays!
Wishing you all a blessed 2018! May this new year be full of well-being and your personal and professional goals be achieved!