Sinterklaas has become a national celebration in the Netherlands and remains popular.
Sinterklaas (also Sint-Nicolaas, Sint or the Good Saint) is the main character of the Sinterklaas party celebrated on December 5. St. Nicholas is believed to be based on Nicholas, a bishop who lived in what is now Turkey around the 4th century AD and was honoured throughout Europe after his death. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated in many European countries, but the interpretation varies per country and region.
Shoes (equivalent of X-mas stocking)
In the 15th century, the tradition of setting your shoes was already started. On St. Nicholas night, money was put in the shoes and given to the poor. Later, children also put a shoe or wooden shoe at home, in which they found treats the next morning. In recent years, gifts are mostly found in/next to the children’s shoes, after they have sung Sinterklaas songs at the top of their lungs for the Good Saint in the evening.
Suprises and games
Adults celebrate St. Nicholas in different ways, such as making surprises with poems for each other, buying presents, playing the dice game, etc. The interpretation can be very creative and also in different companies, such as with family, friends, clubmates or colleagues.
Have a nice Sinterklaas!