"Sint Nicolaas, Sinterklaas ... Santa Claus" Netherlands Local Custom Tip by Pavlik_NL

Netherlands Local Customs: 288 reviews and 290 photos

  Ilja gets a prominent visitor at his frontdoor!
by Pavlik_NL

Maybe the biggest celebration in The Netherlands is on the 5th of December. The Saint Nicolas festivities are a very own tradition to the lowlands (incl. Flandres and Ost-Frysia in Germany).

This holyman was known to be very generous to especially children and therefor gave away presents on his birthday (in stead of receiving them). "Sinterklaas" has servants called "Zwarte Pieten" (Black Piet) that deliver the presents through the chimneys of all houses, while the old wise man is riding his white horse over the rooftops. Good children get sweets (and presents) and bad children ... well ... I won't start about that. Anyway, do you recognise a pattern here ... yes, our Sinterklaas became later Santa Claus as pioneers in America brought this tradition and was later linked up with the more strongly celebrated Christmas.
A more detailed explanation you find on the website I added (in English!). In a special travelogue more about this special day in The Lowlands.

Website: http://hwsf.nbed.nb.ca/sinter/Sinterklaas.htm

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  • Updated Nov 23, 2003
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