In keeping with Dutch tradition, the Dutch Heritage Boosters sponsor a Sinterklaas Dag celebration the first Saturday in December. This celebration was part of the community as far as 70 years ago, and was revived in the late 1980s.
Schedule of Events
Sinterklaas is a legendary figure based on Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. The feast is celebrated with the giving of gifts on St. Nicholas' Eve, December 5, and on the morning of December 6.
Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343 AD), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. He wears a long red cape over a traditional white bishop's alb, dons a red mitre on his head and wears a ruby ring. He holds a gold-colored ceremonial shepherd's staff with a fancy curled top. He traditionally rides a white horse. Sinterklaas carries a big, red book in which is written whether each child has been good or naughty in the past year.
Sinterklaas is assisted by a mischievous helper named Piet. Piet's colorful dress is based on 16th-century noble attire, with a lace collar and a feathered cap. He is typically depicted carrying a bag which contains candy for the children.
The festivities traditionally begin each year in mid-November, when Sinterklaas and Piet arrive by boat at a designated seaside town, supposedly from Spain. In places a boat cannot reach, Sinterklaas arrives by train, horse, horse-drawn carriage or even a fire truck.
Click here to take our Sinterklaas Dag Quiz!
Continue the fun at home with our
Sinterklaas Coloring Pages
DUTCH PUPPET THEATRE
Handmade puppets entertain in this traditional puppet show, or poppenkast. In the Netherlands from the 17th to 19th Centuries, puppet shows took place in the streets. Travelling puppeteers from abroad performed in the Netherlands, and many Dutch puppeteers played abroad. In our modern-day puppet show, based around Dutch-themed scripts, meet traditional Dutch protagonists named Jan Klaassen and Katrijn.
Missed out on the fun?
Watch our recap video to catch a glimpse of what you can experience next year!