The Netherlands are famous for their events which can be described as «only in Holland». King’s Day, the Keukenhof gardens. And, of course, the winter holiday of Sinterklaas. It’s celebrated annually on the 5th of December. But the whole festive story starts earlier in November.
So, who is Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas)?
He looks like Santa Claus or Father Christmas, but he’s a totally different person (here you can find at least 7 differences)! According to the legend, he lives in Spain, and comes to the Netherlands to give presents and little treats to the children.
Sinterklaas doesn’t come alone. He arrives with his white horse Amerigo and a team of the Zwarte Pieten, who probably have been stuck in chimney for a while.
Arrival of Sinterklaas (intocht)
Every year Sinterklaas arrives to the Netherlands by boat. Thousand of people come to meet and great him. The day after Sinterklaas’ arrival traditional colourful parades are organized in many cities through the Netherlands.
In 2021 Sinterklaas arrival will be corona-safe. This year Sinterklaas arrives to the Netherlands on Saturday, November 13, 2021. The place of official Sinterklaas arrival (landelijke intocht) is not announced, due to Corona measures. Sinterklaas intocht will be broadcasted on NPO3 channel on November 13, 2021.
And still this year many municipalities will organize local Sinterklaas intocht events. For example, in Amsterdam Sinterklaas intocht 2021 will take place on November 14, 2021. For more information see sintinamsterdam.nl.
In Haarlem Sinterklaas will also arrive on November 14, 2021. He will not leave the boat. The boat will sail across the Spaarne river, so that Sinterklaas and his helpers can greet all children. You can find the route and timing here.
A few weeks later, on December 5 the kids of the Netherlands will get their presents from Sinterklaas. Hoeraaa! Holiday season is just around the corner!
Sinterklaas presents ideas
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Come to the Netherlands and experience it yourself!