Crown anniversaries are birthdays that get something extra special because they are special ages that are reached. Crown years or anniversaries are a good time to go the extra mile when it comes to a party or when it comes to giving a nice or special gift. There are also several traditions such as the ‘Sarah’ and ‘Abraham’ on reaching the 50th birthday.

Special birthdays that get some extra attention in the Netherlands are:

  • 1 year: Very first birthday of a child. With possibly accompanying ‘cake smash’.
  • 16 years: At this age, teenagers get more responsibilities such as driving a scooter and not forgetting the Sweet Sixteen party.
  • 18 years: This age is a bit forgotten, because (in the past) at 18 you were already seen as an official adult. However, you can legally drink and buy alcohol at the age of 18.
  • 21 years: Officially an adult! and not forgetting the 21 diner party.
  • 50 years: They sometimes say “halfway” and you get the nickname “Sarah” or “Abraham”.

And from fifty onwards, actually every ten years is special, so the 60, 70, 80, etc. The Netherlands is also known for celebrating birthdays in circles. But this is more a thing of the past and you will not see it very often anymore.