/ The Amsterdam Guide
Amsterdam — By Marianne on November 14, 2009 at 6:38 am

Sinterklaas is Back in Amsterdam

Sinterklaas, aka Santa Claus, is back again. Today he arrived in Schiedam (near Rotterdam) from Spain. You don’t have to be in Schiedam to meet Sinterklaas. Every city, town and village in the Netherlands has their own Sinterklaas. And if this is not enough Sinterklaas’ arrival can be watched on television. He also has (several) Sinterklaas websites  and a daily television programme.  Television makers have agreed that the same actor will plays the role of the official Sinterklaas, so that young believers see the same Sinterklaas on the Sinterklaas TV news, in Sesame Street and other programmes.

On the 5 December young and old celebrate Sinterklaas’ birthday. Instead of receiving presents, Sinterklaas gives away presents.

sinterklaas schoen

From today until Sinterklaas eve, but not every day, children are allowed to place their shoe (only ONE, their own, not their father’s big size 9) by the fireplace plus a carrot, or a slice of bread for the horse and a glass of sherry for Sinterklaas and a wish-list. They sing at least one Sinterklaas song, go up to bed and no sneaking down after mid-night.

At night Sinterklaas and his black helper, Zwarte Piet, are at work. Sinterklaas rides his white horse over the roof tops. Zwarte Piet listens at chimneys. Good children are rewarded and the naughty ones punished.

The next morning sherry, carrot and wish list are gone and the shoe is filled with a surprise gift. Favourites are chocolate letters in the shape of the child’s initial letter of his/her name. Everyone wants to have an M or W because they look bigger than L or I. But the manufacturers have solved this problem. Each letter contains the same amount of weight of chocolate.

Watch this video: Sinterklaas Arrives in Amsterdam

Sometimes Sinterklaas experiences a difficult day, watch these Sinterklaas Bloopers

photo credit: inferis @flickr.com


  • Katrina Verweel says:

    I get a chocolate letter K for Christmas every year from the Dutch store, but I did not know that every letter contains the same amount of chocolate! How ingenious, it prevents siblings from being jealous of the others letter!

  • Marianne says:

    Katrina, How nice that you can get Sinterklaas goodies. Is it because there is a large Dutch community? Enjoy eating your K letter!

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