Strange Dutch Celebrations: 12 and a half year wedding anniversary

Wedding rings

Next month it’ll be mine and the Dutchie’s 1 year wedding anniversary. WOW – how quick has that gone!? So now seems like a good time to talk about Dutch wedding anniversaries… but first, to put it into context… here’s what we’re used to in the UK (and from what I can gather, it’s pretty similar in the US too).

The English tend to celebrate their wedding anniversaries every year, well at least the two of them anyway. But how long do you have to wait until it’s time for a big old party!? Generally, people celebrate ‘properly’ when they make it to 20 or 25 years.

In case you’re not au fait with traditional wedding anniversary names, here’s the list of edited highlights:

1st Paper
10th Tin
15th Crystal
20th China
25th Silver
30th Pearl
40th Ruby
50th Gold
60th Diamond

The names of some of the anniversaries are supposed to provide guidance for appropriate gifts for the spouses to give each other, but I’m not sure if people still do that nowadays. We still call the biggies by their traditional names though, for example most people would know what a “Golden” wedding anniversary is.

So anyway, if you’re Dutch… when do you celebrate your wedding anniversary?

After 12 and a half years, of course!

Sorry, you what?

So you get married in August 2014 and you have a party to celebrate your anniversary in February 2027… Riiiiiiight…

12.5 jaar getrouwd

Good old Wikipedia confirms that in Holland, they also have a similar method to the UK, but they also (apparently) celebrate 37 ½ months, 6 ¼ years and 12 ½ years:

jaar = year
maanden = months

1 jaar Katoen (Cotton)
37 ½ maanden Blik (Tin)
6 ¼ jaar IJzer (Iron)
10 jaar Blik (Tin)
12 ½ jaar Koper (Copper)
20 jaar Porselein (Porcelain)
25 jaar Zilver (Silver)
30 jaar Parel (Pearl)
40 jaar Robijn (Ruby)
50 jaar Goud (Gold)
60 jaar Diamant (Diamond)

And the real reason why the Dutch celebrate 12 ½ years of marriage? They can’t be arsed to wait 25 years for an excuse to party!

Hear! Hear!

Yet another reason why I love the Dutch.

Hayley x

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11 comments

  1. (as a Dutchie) I never heard of celebrating 37,5 or 6,25 but what we do celebrate is our 5 year anniversary which is called ‘hout’ (wood) By the way: 2 years is ‘papier’ (paper) 3 years ‘leer’ (leather) and 4 years ‘zijde’ (silk). Most wedding anniversary’s the copple celebrate by having a romantic diner (at the restaurant where the party was) and you’re supposed to give a celebration party at 12,5, 25 and 40 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My husband and me (or is it: my husband and I??) are married for more than 15 years now and we still celebrate it every year with just the two of us. We had a little party at our 5 year anniversary and then we had a big party at 12,5 years. A year or two after we got married, we discovered the gothic/fantasy scene and I said that if I’d discovered that sooner, I definitely would have had a victorian wedding. So we had a victorian themed 12,5 year wedding anniversary. 🙂

    Like

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