A Dutch Time Machine

If you want an original way to get into the Christmas spirit, I have the perfect spot for you: every year, in the last week-end before 25.12, Deventer hosts a Charles Dickens Festival. If you haven’t been to Deventer yet, the town is really charming, a true hidden gem still overlooked by most foreign tourists. The festival is probably inspired by “A Christmas Carol”, the writer’s famous novella that revolutionized Christmas traditions in the Victorian age. In any case, it is a good alternative to the usual plastic tree ornament stands and beer belly Santas from other cities (let’s face it, in a country so heavily biased towards Sinterklaas, Christmas events are not amazing in general). A few hundred local volunteers will dress up as characters from Charles Dickens novels, and will be more than happy to pose for you, so do not forget to take your camera. The atmosphere is definitely welcoming, from this point of view it beats all other street events I attended in the Netherlands. Add to this English carols, some good food, old style boxing matches or a glass of punch and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable week-end afternoon. The festival’s entrance is free, but you may need to queue a bit, since it all takes place only on a few streets in the old town. However, if weather is decent, it’s definitely worth the wait: for a few hours you will be transported to another place- another time, and you will feel one step closer to winter celebrations as they used to be in good old days. I added below a link to the festival’s page:

http://www.dickensfestijn.nl/english-information

 

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