Sinterklaas will be arriving in the Netherlands on Saturday, November 15. This is the 67th year that he has first arrived in Scheveningen before making his way inland (2014 event). That link states that spectators along the parade route will be treated to over 8,500 kilograms of kruidnoten and assorted candy, among other edibles. Yeesh! Sinterklaas is similar to Santa Claus, although he travels by horse — apparently the name of the horse is Americano.
Sinterklaas also visits the other cities; for instance, he will be arriving in Maastricht on Saturday the 15th, while he arrives the following day in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Den Bosch. The Sinterklaas holiday extends through December 5th, when Sinterklaas brings candy and small gifts (usually placed in shoes) to the children.
One fun part of the holiday is the use of Sinterklaasjournaal, which translates to “Sinterklaas News”. This is a short news program aimed at kids which follows the journey of Sinterklaas on his way to the Netherlands and in the country. It airs every day at 6pm, starting this Tuesday the 11th. They will also be covering the national arrival of Sinterklaas (this year held in Gouda – a different city gets the honor every year) on the 15th.
It can be an interesting thing to follow if you are an expat – sometimes they do have cute stories that can be amusing for adults as well. Last year they had a story that the staff of Sinterklaas was missing and one of the Zwarte Pieten (the helpers) had to find a replacement staff. You can read a review of those developments here.
Edited Monday morning to add: I was on the tram this morning and I heard a recorded announcement: Dames, heren en kinderen – Sinterklaas komt weer naar Den Haag! HTM maakt graag plaats voor de intocht! “Ladies and gentleman and children – Sinterklaas again comes to The Hague! HTM makes way for the arrival!” followed by service information. But the fun thing was that the announcement was also aimed at children – the lady’s voice was full of hope and wonderment, as if talking directly to the kids.
If I remember correctly the staff goes missing every 3-4 years.
Other stories are usually “the boat is delayed” “the gifts are delayed” “the gifts are missing”
It’s fun for kids obviously, they don’t care 😉