CHRISTMAS IN THE NETHERLANDS
In the Netherlands the Dutch eagerly await December 5th for it is on this day that they celebrate the coming of
Sinterklaas Avond or St. Nicholas eve, whose legends of generosity and kindness are well known.
On December 6th they celebrate with family doings, after which everyone settles down to prepare for Christmas Day
on December 25th and secondly for December 26th or New Year and Three Kings Day on January 6th. Each has its on
In the Netherlands St. Nicholas is known as Sinterklaas. Dutch children are told that he sails from Spain on his
feast day, December 5. They fill their shoes with hay and sugar for his horse and awake to find them filled with
gifts such as nuts and candy. Sometimes Sinterklaas appears in person in the children's homes, bearing a striking
resemblance to the children's father or an uncle. He questions the children about their behavior during the past year.
In the past he carried a birch rod, but these days he is more kindly.
The people of Twente in east Holland hold a special Advent ceremony in which special horns are blown to chase away
evil spirits and to announce the birth of Christ. Horns are homemade out of one-year-old saplings and are three or
four feet long. Blown over wells, they sound a deep tone, similar to a foghorn.
All Rights Reserved