AEGEE mem­bers face a tough choice this year: there will be more than ten New Year’s events organ­ised from Las Pal­mas and Tener­ife in the Atlantic Ocean to Tyu­men in Asia. One event with a lot of tra­di­tions is the New Year’s event by AEGEE-Utrecht, which will take place from 29th of Decem­ber 2018 until the 3th of Jan­u­ary 2019. One of it’s high­lights is the New Year’s Dive into the ocean – hence the title “Dutch Dive into the New Year”! You won­der how that feels like? Mireille Voorendt from AEGEE-Utrecht answered this and more ques­tions, togeth­er with the team of organ­is­ers!

Gold­en Times: How does it feel to dive into a freez­ing ocean?
Mireille Voorendt (smiles): To dive into a freez­ing ocean is just like real­ly, real­ly, real­ly cold! It is the per­fect lit­er­al fresh start of the new year, the per­fect hang­over cure. Because you are doing it with so many peo­ple it is also just real­ly fun! This Dutch tra­di­tion start­ed in 1960 in Zand­voort when a swim­club decid­ed to start the year fresh with a plunge in the sea. The new year’s dive received nation­al atten­tion after a big soup brand decid­ed to spon­sor it. From that moment on, the amount of par­tic­i­pants and loca­tions has increased every year and now more than 25,000 peo­ple do it each year!

GT: Does it take a lot of courage?
Mireille: Nope, every­body can do it! We do a warm­ing up with danc­ing and mov­ing before, and when you run into the sea with thou­sands of peo­ple, you just get over­whelmed with excite­ment. You also get a nice, warm orange hat to keep you warm in the cold water and after­wards you also get some “erwten­soep” (split pea soup), which is also very dutch. And be sure, your hang­over will be solved after it! The train ride back is always a nice time for a nap, every­one cov­ered in blan­kets and orange hats…

GT: How many times have you done it?
Mireille: For me it will be my third time, but for a lot of the organ­is­ers it will be the first time too!

GT: The New Year Dive is a fixed part of every New Year’s event of AEGEE-Utrecht – do all par­tic­i­pants take part?
Mireille: In the past years I think maybe max­i­mum one or two of the par­tic­i­pants did not par­tic­i­pate. Of course it’s your own choice, we will not force any­one! Even for the not so dar­ing amongst us, it is a per­fect day out because the sight of all those shiv­er­ing peo­ple in front of the Dutch sea is a enter­tain­ing sight to see.

GT: Your event is more than just this show of courage. What are “oliebollen” — how do they taste and how do you cook them?
Mireille: Oliebollen are lit­er­al­ly oil balls. To pre­pare these you cook them in oil to make them nice and fat. It is like a fried donut but dif­fer­ent. You most­ly eat it with pow­dered sug­ar and most of the time there are raisins in it. It is real­ly sat­is­fy­ing and the per­fect stom­ach base for all the alco­hol that fol­lows. We also eat some­thing that we call an “appelflap”, this is a apple turnover with, of course, sug­ar. It’s the last day of the year, so do not wor­ry about your diet!

Check the view from the Dom­tow­er, the high­est church tow­er of the Nether­lands!

GT: Which oth­er specif­i­cal­ly Dutch new year’s cus­toms will the par­tic­i­pants learn?
Mireille: For a lot of peo­ple hav­ing a “gezel­lig” NYE will mean lis­ten­ing to music and eat­ing fat stuff with their fam­i­ly and friends. We will try to recre­ate this vibe! Have you ever heard of the Dutch “stamp­pot”? We will lis­ten to the Top2000 charts, we will look at the fire­works, which is some­thing a lot of Dutch peo­ple do them­selves. We will do the count­down with the oliebollen and cham­pagne. And then of course we vis­it a kick-ass New Year’s Eve par­ty with oth­er AEGEE-Utrecht mem­bers.

GT: What are the oth­er pro­gramme high­lights will you offer the par­tic­i­pants?
Mireille: We will go to Ams­ter­dam for a day, we will go to a typ­i­cal Dutch wind­mill, do some vol­un­teer­ing to start the new year off prop­er­ly. Then we will show you Utrecht, climb the Dom­tow­er, which is the high­est church tow­er of the Nether­lands, and we will get to know each oth­er through a lot of things like games, pub­crawls and par­ties! And did we men­tion the Dutch cheese tast­ing yet?

GT: Lodg­ing will be in a hos­tel – sounds more com­fort­able than a gym. How did you man­age that?
Mireille: Thank­ful­ly we have a good con­nec­tion with this cosy hos­tel in the city cen­ter. It is so close to every­thing that you can lit­er­al­ly crawl home after the par­ties. The lady who runs the hos­tel is so hap­py to receive all these Euro­pean young peo­ple, and because of the good rela­tion­ship we man­age to offer three meals per day, instead of the nor­mal two!

GT: How much the event cost, when does it take place exact­ly and when I the appli­ca­tion dead­line?
Mireille: This event by AEGEE-Utrecht costs 180 Euros with an addi­tion­al fee of 21 Euros for the Ams­ter­dam trip. It takes place from the 29th of Decem­ber until the 3th of Jan­u­ary and our appli­ca­tion dead­line is the 20th of Novem­ber — on Intranet and Google form. How­ev­er: if you write a kick-ass appli­ca­tion, we will except you already before the dead­line! So apply apply apply!

The event on the Intranet:
The event on Face­book:
The event on Insta­gram:

AEGEE-Utrecht is wait­ing for you!