Sinterklaas Is Here

Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands today, thus beginning the holiday season here. For the next few weeks, kids will set their shoes out in hope of receiving chocolate letters, peppernoten, marzipan, and other treats and gifts. The big culmination is 5 December, pakjesavond, when more gifts are exchanged, after being elaborately wrapped in unusual packaging and a humorous poem accompanies each gift.

Therefore, the shopping season has begun. Know what would make a great gift? A special Utrecht calendar! You can roll it up and fit it inside a shoe, or a stocking, or wrap it up normally and put it under a Christmas tree. It could also make an excellent Hanukkah gift. The options are endless really. Fortunately, I know just the calendar. A year’s worth of photos of some of Utrecht’s loveliest (and humorous) spots. I carefully went through all of my photos to find just the right picture for each month, including a photo of Sinterklaas arriving in November! Enjoy!

10 thoughts on “Sinterklaas Is Here

  1. Shame I missed it, I still love Sinterklaas as a holiday, even if I haven’t celebrated it for years. It’s such a great time of the year for kids who still believe he’s real, and very exciting when he arrives (as usually, they stage it to make it look like something’s gone wrong, he’s late, or lost, or the presents have been lost, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚ and then the weeks leading up to the Big Night. Loved to see all the little kids dressed up as Zwarte Piet in town today.

    Great idea about the calendar btw!

    • It’s fantastic seeing the excitement of the little kids when the first Piets start showing up and then Sinterklaas himself. It’s impossible not to smile at it all!

  2. I love the calendar. I also love it that Sinterklas is on a boat going through the canals . . . from a photographer’s point of view. But does he also still ride his horse through the streets at some point, or is that no longer possible? I already wondered that last year when you showed similar photos. I was a Zwarte Piet for the official Sinterklaas for the NOS once, when I was 15. We “arrived” on a boat in the Rotterdam harbor, and then we walked through the streets behind the Sint’s horse. We handed out candy to little kids and accepted drawings for Sinterklaas. It was great, but we were also warned that some pain-in-the-butt teens might find ti funny to pull off our wigs. In which case another Piet had to empty his candy bag and cover the de-wigged Piet and leave before little ones would see it. I’d hate to think that that happens too often now and that Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet can’t go through the streets anymore.

    • They still do the street parades, I just never make it! I think next year I’ll plan on the street parade instead. I would like to see the horse (Amerigo, as I believe he’s officially called now) finally! How fun to be part of the official Sinterklaas arrival! I’ve always been curious how people get picked to be involved in any of the arrivals, local or the big televised one.

      • My best friend (and still) got to go and take a friend because her dad was head of the NOS children’s television department. Incidentally, he was also responsible for bringing Sesame Street to the Netherlands.

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