How to Say Merry Christmas in Dutch

How to Say Merry Christmas in Dutch Audio

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration around the world, and one of the most cherished traditions is exchanging greetings and well wishes. If you have Dutch friends or are planning to spend Christmas in the Netherlands, learning how to say “Merry Christmas” in Dutch is a wonderful way to connect with the locals and spread holiday cheer. In this article, we’ll explore not only the translation of this festive greeting but also delve into some Dutch Christmas customs and traditions. Let’s dive in!

Dutch Language Basics

Before we get to the holiday-specific greetings, let’s start with some Dutch language basics. Dutch is a West Germanic language, and while English and Dutch share some common roots, they have distinct pronunciations. Familiarizing yourself with a few common Dutch phrases can be a great way to start your journey.

Basic Greeting in Dutch

To greet someone with a warm and friendly “Merry Christmas,” you can use the phrase: “Vrolijk Kerstfeest!”


Pronouncing Dutch phrases correctly can be a bit challenging for non-native speakers. Here’s a breakdown of the pronunciation for “Vrolijk Kerstfeest”:

  • Vrolijk: Pronounced as “Vroh-lick.”
  • Kerstfeest: Pronounced as “Kerst-fehst.”

Dutch Christmas Traditions

Now that you know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Dutch, let’s explore some of the unique Christmas traditions in the Netherlands.

1. Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

In the Netherlands, the holiday season kicks off with the arrival of Sinterklaas, a legendary figure similar to Santa Claus. Sinterklaas travels from Spain to the Netherlands in mid-November, and his arrival is celebrated with parades and festivities. He is accompanied by his loyal helpers known as “Zwarte Piet” or “Black Pete.”

2. Christmas Trees and Decorations

Dutch households adorn their homes with beautifully decorated Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and ornaments. It’s a common sight to see Christmas markets selling unique decorations throughout December.

3. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Eve, known as “Kerstavond” in Dutch, is typically celebrated with a festive family dinner. On Christmas Day itself, families exchange gifts and enjoy a special meal together.

4. Oliebollen

A delicious Dutch treat that’s especially popular during the holiday season is “oliebollen.” These deep-fried dough balls are often enjoyed with powdered sugar and are a must-try for anyone visiting the Netherlands during Christmas.


In conclusion, learning how to say “Merry Christmas” in Dutch, as well as understanding some of the unique Dutch Christmas traditions, can enhance your holiday experience and foster connections with the locals. So, don’t hesitate to spread some joy by saying “Vrolijk Kerstfeest!” during your Dutch Christmas adventure.


  1. Is Dutch a difficult language to learn? Learning any new language can be challenging, but with dedication and practice, you can become proficient in Dutch.
  2. What other holiday greetings should I know in Dutch? Aside from “Vrolijk Kerstfeest,” you can also learn to say “Gelukkig Nieuwjaar” for “Happy New Year” and “Fijne feestdagen” for “Happy Holidays.”
  3. Are there any specific customs for gift-giving in the Netherlands? Yes, gifts are often exchanged on December 5th during Sinterklaas celebrations. However, Christmas Day is also a time for gift-giving among family and friends.
  4. What are some traditional Dutch Christmas foods? Besides oliebollen, you might want to try “kerststol” (Christmas bread) and “banketstaaf” (pastry filled with almond paste).
  5. Can I visit the Netherlands during the Christmas season as a tourist? Absolutely! The Netherlands is known for its enchanting holiday atmosphere, and you can enjoy festive markets and decorations throughout the country.
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Shawn Stolting

Shawn Stolting

A proud Dutch speaker from Suriname. Nestled on the northern coast of South America, Suriname is where my heart and heritage reside. I call the charming capital city of Paramaribo my home.