Sinterklaas to arrive in Eindhoven

In Eindhoven, Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas) will arrive, accompanied by a group of Zwarte Pieten, Saturday 17th of November.

In recent years, the organization of the event saw no reason to change the appearance of Sinterklaas‘ “Spanish” helpers. Nevertheless, at the arrival in Eindhoven, all Zwarte Pieten will have their own personalities.

“There is a Love-Piet who will sport hearts, there is even a Pieten Girl Band. Moreover, girl-Pieten will choose their earrings and lipsticks. This should ensure a more colourful parade,” states committee chairperson Leontine van Kollenburg.

According to the committee, this year’s arrival will become even more festive. There will be live music along the Eindhovensch Kanaal. Sinterklaas will also have more boats accompanying him. Due to the construction of a new bridge, Sinterklaas‘ steamer can no longer use the canal.

Last year, between 6000 and 8000 people attended the arrival of the Dutch children’s friend. Over 1500 spectators also attended activities at the 18 Septemberplein in Eindhoven.

Dutch tradition

Sinterklaas is a tradition in the Netherlands and a few other European countries. In the Netherlands, festivities culminate with Sinterklaas-Avond (traditionally celebrated 5th of December). Children receive toys and other presents on Sinterklaas’ Eve.

Not all: children who misbehaved during the past year face problems. Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten record all misbehaviour in a large book. Traditionally, children who misbehave may receive nothing, a bunch of twigs, or may even end up kidnapped in Spain. (A tradition related to the 80-year-war between the Dutch Republic and Habsburg Spain, during which anything Spanish was of course bad.)

Throughout the weeks leading up to and on the Eve itself (Pakjesavond), traditional songs are sung. Traditional sweets, cookies and other food including oranges (referring to the Prince of Orange) are also handed out, especially to children.

Sinterklaas is not just for children. On Pakjesavond, Dutch adults often exchange presents – including fake ones – as well as poems they write themselves which often are full of puns, hints, and jokes.

Eindhoven faces a hectic, stressful period from the 17th of November till 5th of December 2018. Go-Kids Eindhoven offers specific information in Dutch, about Sint Nicolaas’ arrival and activities in Eindhoven.

Source: Studio 040

Translator: Kate

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