Au Pair Holland: Sinterklaas. For most children in The Netherlands the most important day during December is the night of the 5th, when Sinterklaas, St. Nicholas, brings them their presents.

The name of Santa Claus comes from the name Sinterklaas.

All Dutch children know that Sinterklass lives in Spain where he spends most of the year preparing the presents together his helpers Zwarte Pieten (Black Peter), to delivery the eve of the 5th to those children who had a good behaviour during the year.


Sinterklaas, who travels from Spain, arrives to the coast of Netherlands sailing some weeks before, around the 16th of Novmeber, and then he trades his boat for his white horse called Amerigo to continue the parade through the streets where he and his helpers throw cookies (pepermoten) and candies to the children.

The night of the 5th of December children put their shoes next to the fireplace with a carrot and a bowl of water nearby for Amerigo, and the children sing a Sinterklaas song. The next day they will find some candy and small present in their shoes. Coal is delivery to those who were naughty.


The adults do a gift exchange and prepare a special gift – and poem – for the selected individual which must be read aloud.

Are you from Holland? Do you want to share with us how you live Sinterklaas in your home? Talk us about typical recipes? maybe you want to share a tipical Sinterklaas song?

PD: Saint Nicolas is also celebrating in other countries like: Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Austria and Czech Rep.

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