hurray, hooray, hurrah [noun] [het hoera, de hoera’s]

Just like in English, “hoera” is used as an expression to cheer at somebody or something. It is a bit old-fashioned though and you will find it mostly in written language. Two common occasions where you will hear “hoera” are ceremonies in which the queen plays a central role and she is formally cheered at, and a common Dutch birthday song (see ‘Extra’).

– “Hoera! Vandaag is de 100e Dutch Word Of The Day!!”
(“Hurray! Today is the 100th Dutch Word of The Day!!”

– “Driewerf hoera voor de koningin!”
(“Three cheers for the queen!”)

– “Lange leve de koningin!” – “Hoera! Hoera! Hoera!”
(“Long live the queen!” – “Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!”)

– “Hiep, hiep, hiep… Hoera!”
(“Hip, hip, hurray!”)

Related words:
– “Hieperdepiep”: informal corruption of “hiep, hiep, hiep”.
– “Vieren”: to celebrate.
– “Juichen”: to cheer.

One of the formal ceremonies in which the queen plays a central role and you will hear the three “hoera’s” is “Prinsjesdag”, the opening of the Dutch parliamentary year and the day on which the government proposes its financial plans for the coming year. The queen will also read out her “troonrede” (“speech from the throne”), outlining the government’s plans for the coming year. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prinsjesdag.

When a Dutch child has his or her birthday, it is common to sing the following song, pay attention to the “hoera’s”!

Lang zal ze leven,
Lang zal ze leven,
Lang zal ze leven in de gloria,
In de glo-ri-a, in de glo-ri-a!
Hiep hiep, hoera!! <all raise their arms up high on “hiep hiep”>
Hiep hiep, hoera!!
Hieperdepiep, hoera!!

This song is also still in use for adults, and you will hear it in restaurants now and then, usually the “birthday woman/man” being highly embarrassed.
In the first three sentences you have to replace ‘ze’ by ‘hij’ if it is a boy instead of a girl, and ‘zal’ by ‘zullen’ in case you sing for more kids at the same time.