Christmas afternoon party Hengelo’s peak of the year!


Bram Kosterink blogs about a tradition of his native region Twente, in the east of the Netherlands. An inspiration for cities all over the world.

Most Dutch trends are made and tested in the western cities of the Netherlands, like Amsterdam. Something which was mentioned during one of my trend presentations last Tuesday. This remark set me thinking, which cool successful initiative is conceived in my native region Twente? The first thing crossing my mind was ‘kerstmiddag’, our Christmas afternoon party! No it isn’t Christmas eve or a Christmas diner but ‘kerstmiddag’. For several years a successful tradition in my hometown Hengelo. The initiative was conceived by an entrepreneur with a restaurant in the city centre of Hengelo. After he initiated this event, many hospitality companies followed his idea. Nowadays almost all hospitality companies within the city centre are joining this event.

The Christmas afternoon party is an event which all citizens of Hengelo are looking forward to. Students who left their parents homes, citizens who emigrated to other parts of the country, all come back for this special event! Weeks in advance tickets are sold by several hospitality companies. Prices are ranging from € 15,=, some included entrance fee, other companies include drink vouchers.

Christmas afternoon party

What is the meaning of ‘kerstmiddag’? From eleven in the morning the real diehards are gathering together, others will join during the day. Meetings are set with family, friends and relatives to gather over drinks in several cafés and restaurants, just to meet. At four/five o’clock, after a full day of singing, dancing and talking, people are heading home (mostly a little tipsy). They quickly refresh, take a powernap or start drinking again, all to prepare for Christmas eve.

Annually 20.000 till 25.000 partygoers meet in the city centre of Hengelo, a huge success! The commonly support is the major strength of this event, almost every citizen and hospitality entrepreneur joins the festivities. Curious about the event? Join me at the 24th of December. If you are looking for a ‘good’ conversation, you can find me at café ‘t Uurwerk.

I am very interested in your Christmas tradition. If you have one, please share at and I hope to inspire other hospitality entrepreneurs with your story! ^Bram Kosterink

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