top of page

The Canadian Christmas Vigils: CANDLES LIT in GROESBEEK & HOLTEN

Every Christmas Eve, local school children come to Holten & Groesbeek Canadian Military Cemeteries in the Netherlands to light a candle in honour of every soldier laid to rest. The act is both humbling and beautiful, as well as a reminder to be grateful for the peace we enjoy today.

Holten Canadian Military Cemetery near Lochem NL, on Christmas Eve, 2017

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic that continues to shake up our lives, the candlelight ceremonies will not be made public for the second year.

Instead, volunteers from the SVNF (Stichting Viering Nationale Feestdagen) will continue this solemn tradition on their own, quietly, and out of the public eye.

Thousands of Dutch families have decided that they will still light a candle from their own windows, however, all for the Canadians that liberated them 75+1 years ago.

Press Release:

Christmas Eve 2021 Candle Christmas Canadian Cemetery Holten

Yearly pupils of the Holtense primary schools place candles on Christmas Eve at the graves of all the fallen ones buried at the Canadian cemetery in Holten. Just like last year due to the corona measures this ceremony will unfortunately not be able to take place with the public.

As a board of the Foundation Celebration of National Holidays (SVNF) we are sorry that we cannot organize a memorial this year. It would be irresponsible to be with a lot of visitors this evening. Of course, our organization will be placing candles at every grave on December 24th.

While placing the candles, the area around the cemetery is temporarily closed to the public. Starting at 17.00 o'clock, in accordance with the stated corona measures and at your own risk, you may visit the Canadian cemetery to honour the fallen and see the memorial lights burn.

The SVNF hopes for your understanding and wishes you good health in these difficult times. We also wish you merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

This Webpage explains the situation from last year (in Dutch only)


Contact info for this organization: Stichting Viering Nationale Feestdagen Holten, Mr. G. Vixseboxsestraat 20, 7451 GW Holten The Netherlands

Watch the Live Stream from last year in Groesbeek - with a breathtaking, albeit, quiet video of 2020's Christmas Eve Homage.

849 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page