Typical Dutch 06 – Oud en nieuw (New Year)



Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to learndutch.org’s typical dutch vocabulary.

Today we talk about “oud & nieuw”. Which literally means “old” and “new”, but we also say it when we talk about: New year’s eve and New year’s day.

In this video: all the words you need to know if you plan to celebrate it with the Dutch.

To the 31th of December we say “Oudjaar” or “Oudejaarsdag”. The evening is called “Oudejaarsavond”.

The first of January we call “Nieuwjaar” or “Nieuwjaarsdag”.

So an abbreviation of “Oudejaarsdag en Nieuwjaarsdag” is “Oud en Nieuw”.

And what is the typical Dutch way of celebrating this holiday?

The first thing a Dutchman thinks about, is “oliebollen” {plaatje Belgium: Smoutenbollen}. “Een Oliebol” is a kind of doughnut. A Fried pastry, usually filled with raisins. And you sprinkle it with powdered sugar (in Dutch called: poedersuiker). Oliebollen is what we eat at Oudejaarsavond.

And most typically we do that while watching the “Oudejaarsconference” (attention: in this context we pronounce “conference” the French way, if we talk about meetings we sometime use the english word “conference” and then pronounce it the English way). The “oudejaarsconference” is a monologue held by a comedian (in Dutch: “cabaretier” also pronounced the French way), who makes fun about the news of the year.

And when it is 12 o’clock everyone shake hands and kisses eachother, while saying “Gelukkig nieuwjaar” or “de beste wensen”. With a glass of champagne in the hand.

Many people go then outside, for the next traditional activity: to set off fireworks: “vuurwerk afsteken”. In Holland, this is the only moment of the year, when it is allowed.

In some parts of the Netherlands, the alternative “carbidschieten” is more popular. People do carbide (a chemical) in a milk churn (in Dutch: melkbus) and let it explode.

The next day, “Nieuwjaarsdag” starts for the enthousiast part of the population with a “Nieuwjaarsduik”. “Duiken” is diving. You run into the cold sea with an orange woolen hat. Usually for just a few seconds, and then quickly get out of the water.

But the majority of the population is warm at home with the family. Very likely they watch the Vienna New Year Concert (het Nieuwjaarsconcert). For most Dutch the only time in the year they listen to classical music. And after the concert, on TV is broadcasted: “Schansspringen” (ski-jumping). That’s for sure the only time in the year. because we never ever achieved anything in this sport – except that we watch it on New Year.

What is a tradition in Belgium, and not in the Netherlands, is the so called “Nieuwjaarsbrief”. The New Year’s letter, is a letter that baptised children read for their godfather and godmother. After that they get a present.

New Year is the moment that you make promises to improve your behaviour and make plans to develop yourself. In Dutch we call this “goede voornemens” (New Year’s resolutions).

Wat is jouw goede voornemen? is it to improve your Dutch! And if you start making plans to do so… well perhaps this a good moment to think about our Dutch Summer courses. You can read all about it on our website !

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar, en mijn beste wensen voor het komende jaar !

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