He may look a little bit like Santa Claus, but celebrating the birthday of 'Sinterklaas' (Saint Nicholas) is a Dutch tradition, loved by children as well as adults! His arrival in Amsterdam in mid-November each year traditionally marks the official start of the city’s festive season.
Every November, Sinterklaas travels from his home in Spain to the Netherlands, bringing presents and special treats for the children. The day after he arrives in the Netherlands, he traditionally takes part in a colourful parade through Amsterdam. Sinterklaas arrives with his steamboat at the harbour of Amsterdam after which a horse parade through the city takes place.
Children line the route to wave at the Sint and his friends, as traditional sweets rain down upon them such as 'pepernoten' and chocolate letters. The Sinterklaas tradition will then continue on a daily basis until the main celebration on the 5th of December when 'pakjes avond' or present night is due! Only after Sinterklaas, Christmas season is fully on!
This year, Sinterklaas will arrive on the 18th of November, so get your sweet tooth on! Yays also organises a fun treat for the kids and families staying at one of the Yays locations in Amsterdam during this festive period.
For more information about the arrival and tradition of Sinterklaas, click here or ask your concierge during your stay at one of the Yays Amsterdam locations.
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