If there is something really Dutch then it is Sinterklaas. The feast is celebrated annually on 5th of December and is associated with many traditions. So the party starts actually two to three weeks in advance when Sinterklaas arrives by boat in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas rides on his white horse through the Dutch streets and is accompanied by Black Peter handing out goodies to the children. On or about ‘pakjesavond’ (the evening of 5th December) many children get gifts. Sinterklaas feast is celebrated with sweet treats such as gingerbread cookies, marzipan, ginger nuts, candies, fudge and chocolate letters.
The color orange is a symbol of the Netherlands, the Dutch royal family and Dutch sports teams, such as the Dutch national football team. When the Dutch football team or other Dutch athletes achieve success than they become ‘our boys and girls’. During major sport events such as the European Championship and the World Cup, the Olympic games and some major skating competitions Dutch supporters often are dressed in orange. Dutch people watch major football tournaments dressed in orange and buy lots of orange attributes. Even living rooms and complete houses and streets are decorated in orange. During King’s Day on 27th April (previously Queen’s Day) the color orange is also fully visible in the streets.
Mills and especially windmills can be found in many places in the world. The wind is indeed an excellent and free source of energy. There are countries where more windmills occur than in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is seen as a real ‘Mill country’. This is mainly due to the presence of the polder mills. These mills are used to bring water from a lower to a higher level with the help of wind force. Although the function of polder mills is now mostly replaced by pumping stations, you can still see quite a lot of windmills in the Dutch countryside. This is mainly because they have a historic meaning. Mills are a major tourist attraction for foreign tourists.