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Monthly Archives: December 2012

New Year’s fireworks in the Netherlands

One thing is sure: every year on the morning of December 31st war seems to break out in the Netherlands. Between 10.00 and 02.00 hours on the last day of the year it is allowed to use fireworks in the Netherlands. And, as there are many Dutch who fancy this activity, the bombing is guaranteed. It is the one day I really do not like to leave the house because there are especially boys everywhere using all kind of fireworks, often wasting also the beautiful ones which can hardly be seen in daylight and to me this is a pretty hostile atmosphere 🙂

At the end of every year, fireworks are a big topic in the Netherlands. Many Dutch are fond of the tradition of fireworks for New Year’s Eve. As the laws concerning them are very strict (fireworks can only be sold in the last 3 days of the year, they can only be used between the hours I mentioned above, the quantities which one person can purchase are limited), there are always problems as people want to be able to stock up on time or they want heavier fireworks, which may not be sold in the Netherlands, but are available at a convenient distance, over the border in Belgium, where they also can be bought all year long and where they are cheaper, so many Dutch are tempted to buy the fireworks from the neighbours. Another problem is given by the Dutch who cannot wait and thus do not respect the period when it is permitted to fire them, so already around Christmas some of them start with the fireworks, which displeases many people. Especially for this last category of Dutch, this year a site has been opened where people can complain about fireworks. It had such a huge success that it was blocked several times by the high amount of simultaneous visitors. It seems that more than 1,000  complaints were registred every hour and in the mean time the total is around 50,000. At the end, after January 1st, the complaints will become an argument for the left-wing party who would like to see the fireworks being used by private persons forbidden. An inquiry showed that more than half of the Dutch would agree with this prohibition.

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In order for you to understand how serious the Dutch are about fireworks, last year around 70 million euros were spent on them (the Netherlands has about 16 million inhabitants). This year there are less people buying fireworks, but the average amount spent on them has grown from 45 to 47 euros.

Other problems caused by fireworks are given by the fact that they are dangerous, not only for people (because they can explode unexpectedly or can fall over), but also for windows, bus stops, post boxes which are adapted these days so that only normal sized envelopes can be inserted. Also, the fireworks are air polluting, causing problems for people with asthma or other health issues, who are advised to stay inside on January 1st.

I don’t know how it is where you are, but I hope it is more quite and that there are beautiful fireworks for you to watch around midnight.

Happy New Year!

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Last photo © Jack Vehoeven, these are fireworks behind our house, as well as in the other pic..

 
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Posted by on 31 December 2012 in ENGLISH POST

 

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Focurile de artificii de revelion in Olanda

E lucru clar, in fiecare dimineata de 31 decembrie, in Olanda pare sa inceapa razboiul. Intre orele 10.00 si 02.00 in ultima zi a anului este permisa folosirea focurilor de artificii in Olanda. Si, cum iubitori sunt multi, bubuielile nu se lasa asteptate. Parem a fi bombardati, e ziua in care nu imi place sa ies din casa, pentru ca peste tot stau mai ales baieti cu pocnitori, dar chiar si cu focuri de artificii care sunt irosite in timpul zilei, cand nu se vede mare lucru din ele, iar mie chiar mi se pare o atmosfera dusmanoasa 🙂

La fiecare sfarsit de an, focurile de artificii sunt subiect de discutie in Olanda. Artificiile de revelion sunt o traditie la care multi olandezi tin. Pentru ca legile in aceasta privinta sunt foarte stricte (artificiile se pot vinde numai in ultimele 3 zile ale anului, se pot folosi numai intre orele amintite mai sus, cantitatile care pot fi cumparate de catre o persoana sunt limitate), exista intotdeauna probleme, pentru ca oamenii vor sa cumpere din timp artificiile sau vor artificii mai spectaculoase, care nu se vand in Olanda, dar se gasesc peste granita in Belgia, unde, pe deasupra, se pot si cumpara tot anul, si se pare ca sunt si mai ieftine, asa ca multi olandezi sunt tentati sa cumpere artificii din vecini. O alta problema este formata de olandezii nerabdatori care nu respecta perioada in care artificiile sunt permise, astfel ca in jurul Craciunului se incepe deja cu aprinderea artificiilor, ceea ce nemultumeste multa lume. Special pentru aceasta categorie de olandezi s-a creat anul acesta un site pe care se pot depune plangeri legate de artificii. Site-ul a avut asa un succes incat a fost blocat de mai multe ori din cauza numarului ridicat de vizitatori. Se pare ca s-au inregistrat peste 1.000 de plangeri pe ora, pana acum peste 50.000, iar la final, dupa 1 ianuarie, plangerile se vor strange si vor forma un argument pentru partidul de stanga care doreste sa se interzica folosirea artificiilor de catre persoane particulare. S-a efectuat un sondaj si rezultatul a fost ca mai bine de jumatate dintre olandezi ar fi de acord cu interzicerea in totalitate a folosirii focurilor de artificii de catre populatie.

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Ca sa intelegeti cat de seriosi sunt olandezii in privinta artificiilor, anul trecut au cheltuit in jur de 70 de milioane pe ele (Olanda are cam 16 milioane de locuitori). Anul acesta se pare ca numarul cumparatorilor a scazut, dar suma medie cheltuita a crescut cu 2 euro, de la 45 la 47.

Alte probleme legate de artificii sunt faptul ca sunt sau pot fi periculoase, atat pentru oameni, pentru ca pot sa explodeze intr-un moment neasteptat sau pot sa se rastoarne, cat si pentru geamuri, vitrine, statiile de autobuz din sticla, cutiile postale care din aceasta cauza sunt protejate si micsorate, astfel incat numai plicurile de dimensiuni normale pot fi introduse. Pe deasupra, artificiile polueaza aerul, putand fi o problema pentru persoanele care sufera de astm sau alte afectiuni, carora li se recomanda ramanerea in interior pe 1 ianuarie.

Nu stiu cum o fi pe unde va aflati voi, sper sa fie mai putine bubuituri si mai multe focuri de artificii frumoase, organizate, pe la miezul noptii.

La multi ani!

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Ultima fotografie © Jack Vehoeven, sunt artificii din spatele casei noastre, ca si in cealalta fotografie.

 
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Posted by on 31 December 2012 in Actualitati, Fenomene olandeze, Traditii, sarbatori

 

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Pachetul olandez de Craciun / The Dutch Christmas package

Pachetul de Craciun din partea angajatorului este o traditie veche in Olanda. In fiecare an primim cate un pachet constand mai ales in mancare, bautura si un obiect practic sau decorativ.

Mai jos poze cu pachetul din acest an (trei straturi diferite).

Nelipsite din orice pachet sunt popcorn-ul dulce, marshmallows si un amestec pentru clatite.

Anii trecuti am primit o sticla de vin alb si una de vin rosu, anul acesta insa cu totul alta combinatie: bitter-ul olandez Juttertje, de pe insula Texel si o sticla de vin fiert (Glühwein).

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The Christmas package from the employer is an old tradition in the Netherlands. Every year we receive a package with mostly food and drinks and one practical or decorative item.

See below pictures of this year’s package (three different layers).

You can always count on sweet popcorn, marshmallows, mix for panecakes.

In the last years there was always a bottle of white wine and one of red wine. This year a whole other combination: the Dutch bitter Juttertje, from the island Texel and a bottle of Glühwein.

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Felicitarile olandeze de Craciun / The Dutch Christmas cards

Pentru cine nu a citit acum un an articolul despre traditia felicitarilor de Craciun in Olanda, nu e prea tarziu. Ca sa va puneti in tema, dati click aici.

Anul acesta, timbrele lunii decembrie (=timbre care pot fi folosite pentru felicitari de Craciun in decembrie, costand cu 10 centi mai putin decat cele obisnuite) arata asa:
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A year ago I wrote about the Dutch tradition of sending Christmas cards, explaining how most of the Dutch send lots of cards and that there are even special stamps each year for sending holiday cards within the Netherlands. This year’s December stamps (=stamps which can be used for holiday cards in December, costing 10 cent less than regular ones) look like this:

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Ma pregatesc sa incep, urati-mi succes 🙂
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Getting started… wish me luck 🙂

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Sper sa fiu inspirata de pomul de Craciun pe care il avem de duminica (dupa cum am scris in post-ul anterior, olandezii fac bradul devreme):

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Getting inspired by the Chritstmas tree we have since Sunday. (As I explained in my previous blog post, the Dutch being early with their trees):

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3 ore mai tarziu si cu 3 degete amortite:

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3 hours and 3 numb fingers further:
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Sarbatori fericite!
Happy holidays!

 
 

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Cand incepe Craciunul in Olanda? / When does Christmas start in the Netherlands?

Craciunul olandez se face remarcat foarte bine incepand din 6 decembrie, adica dupa ce Sinterklaas isi ia talpasita. E data de la care multi olandezi simt un imbold sa impodobeasca deja bradul si intra in atmosfera sarbatorilor. Ca sa fie clar, va impartasesc reactia lor la afirmatia mea cum ca noi in Romania am impodobit bradul intotdeauna in ziua ajunului. “Pai atunci ce rost mai are, il impodobiti ca sa aveti ce strange imediat dupa?” Deci nu este practic sa ai bradul de Craciun abia cand incepe Craciunul.

Asa stand lucrurile nu m-a mai mirat nici faptul ca am primit prima felicitare de Craciun anul acesta pe 10 decembrie…

Deci Craciun Fericit, nu as vrea sa va urez abia de Craciun, caci la ce bun? 🙂
P1140051Dutch Christmas is very visible starting December 6th, immediately after Sinterklaas leaves the country. It is the date when many Dutch people feel the urge of decorating their Christmas tree and get all into the Christmas spirit. To make myself clear, I will share the reaction I got when I stated that in Romania we always set the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. “Well what’s the point then, you decorate it just so you can throw it out again?” So it is not practical to have a Christmas tree only with Christmas.

Knowing this, I was not surprised to receive the first Christmas card this year on December 10th…

So I wish you all a Merry Christmas, I wouldn’t want to wish you this only with Christmas 🙂

 
 

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Oua de Craciun in Olanda / Christmas eggs in Holland

Craciunul in Olanda este o notiune vaga.

Cum altfel se poate explica prezenta in supermarket a oualor rosii… de Craciun?

Dar inteleg de la surse anonime, pe nume Teo 😉 ,  ca germanii nu au nici o greata si au oua colorate tot anul.

Cum sta treaba unde locuiti voi?

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Christmas in the Netherlands is a vague term.

How else can one explain the presence in the supermarket of red… Christmas eggs?

But I understand from my anonymous source, named Teo 😉 , that in Germany you can find coloured eggs all year long.

How about where you live?

 
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Posted by on 12 December 2012 in Actualitati, ENGLISH POST, Fenomene olandeze

 

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Atentie: ninge! / Beware: snow!

Prezicerea vremii pare sa devina o stiinta exacta in Olanda.

In seara asta am urmarit cu ochi mari cel mai avansat buletin meteo de pana acum.

Asa am aflat cum ca azi la orele 22.00 trecute fix (deci pe acum) zapada va patrunde in teritoriul olandez si ca, in cateva etape, se va inteti tot mai mult, culminand in intensitate la ora 04.00. Dupa care va continua sa ninga si maine, ceea ce va duce negresit la o situatie dezastruoasa pentru traficul zilei de maine, dar, macar atat noroc avem, vinerea e oricum ziua cea mai putin aglomerata d.p.d.v. al traficului de dimineata.

Ba am primit chiar si un e-mail de la caile ferate olandeze care deja ma anunta ca maine trenurile vor circula dupa un orar special adaptat la zapada si inghet, cu un numar injumatatit de trenuri, deci mai aglomerate si cu posibilitatea de a trebui sa schimbi trenul de mai multe ori si deci sa petreci mai mult timp pe drum.

Mai e putin pana sa inceapa distractia, eu stau si ma intreb: are rost sa incercam sa ajungem la serviciu maine? Totusi, se asteapta cel putin 10 cm de zapada!!!

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The weather forecast seems to become an exact science in the Netherlands.

This evening I have watched with big eyes the most advanced weather forecast ever.

I learned that today at 22.00 hours (so about now) the snow will enter the Dutch territory and that, in a few stages, it will intensify, climaxing at 04.00 hours. Afterwards, it will keep on snowing tomorrow, which will certainly lead to a disaster in traffic, but, at least we are lucky that Fridays are the most quite days traffic wise.

I have even received an e-mail from the Dutch railways letting me know already that tomorrow’s trains will ride as per timetables adapted to the snow and frost, the amount of trains being half of the regular one, so they will be crowded and you might have to change trains more often and thus spend more time on the way.

The fun is about to begin and I can’t help wondering if we should even try to get to work tomorrow? After all, at least 10 cm of snow are expected!!!

 
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Posted by on 6 December 2012 in Actualitati, ENGLISH POST, Fenomene olandeze, Vremea

 

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