28 years ago Leena van Dam from Holten, Overijssel, came up with the idea to light candles at the graves of the Canadian cemetery in this village on Christmas Eve.

In her native Finland, it is a tradition to light a light for deceased loved ones on Christmas Eve and it seems a good idea to introduce this custom in Holten as well.

From 1991 onwards, candles annually illuminate the 1,394 graves of the fallen soldiers who died during the Second World War.

In 2015 Dick Jansen from the Frisian Bergum thought, ” Why only lights on war graves in Holten? “. He set up a Facebook page to which he received so much response that candles were placed on war graves in more than 140 places in 2015.
In 2019 there were already more than 440 places.
A new beautiful Dutch tradition has emerged.