Sinterklaas is a traditional winter festival in The Netherlands. The celebration begins in the night before the birthday of Sinterklaas (5 December). Here are some of the celebration:

1. Schoen zetten (placing a shoe) : The children put the one of the shoes in the fire place. Because the zwarte piet will come to the house through the chimney. If the family doesn’t have fireplace, the children can put the shoes in the front door, back door or in front of a heater. As a return to the Sinterklaas, the children put a food for the horse (hay, carrot), a drawing or a poem. The next day, they get something delicious in the shoes.

2. Pakjesavond : Adults or older children give each other, mostly anonymous, gifts, with or without a Sinterklaas gedichten (poem) or package as a ‘surprise’. Through  anonymous lootjes trekken (draw lots) determined for whom one should buy a present .

3. Sinterklaasliedjes (sinterklaas song) : Singing the Sinterklaas song is one of the most important things to do during the celbration. One of the famous and easy one is : Dag Sinterklaasje

4. Lekkernijen (delicious things) : 

  • Speculaaspoppen : speculaas dolls
  • Chocoladeletters : Chocolate letters ( if you buy for someone chocolate letter choose the first letter of him/her)
  • Banketletters : banquet Letters
  • Borstplaat : a very old fashioned Dutch fudge
  • Marsepein : marzipan
  • Strooigoed : special sinterklaas-candies >>
    – Taai-taai : a cookies ( with Sinterklaas as a shape) taste like ‘speculaas’ and ‘pepernoten’.
    – Pepernoten : a cookie-like kind of candy. They are light brown, round shaped, and made from the same ingredients as taai-taai.
    – Kruidnoten : a cookie-like kind of candy. They are harder, have a different colour and shape and are made using the same ingredients used for making speculaas
    – Suikergoed : candies
  • Bisschopswijn : a alcohol drink that usually drink in during Sinterklaas event.

5. Intocht (The arrival of Sinterklaas) : Sinterklaas come from Spain and arrive with steaming boat. Sinterklaas arrival in the city welcomed by singing Sinterklaas song. He come on grey horse called Amirego. The zwarte pit come along with throwing a lot of candies. Sinterklaas visits schools, hospitals and shopping centre   Local arrivals usually take place later on the same Saturday of the national arrival, the next Sunday (the day after he arrives), or one weekend after the national arrival.

6. Gedichten (poem) : As a foreigner is not easyto make a poem in Dutch language. My suggestion is go to search engine and find a sinterklaas gedichten. If you can write and speak Dutch and want something more original and personal, you can use this great website to find rhyme words.

Have fun!

Source : wikipedia

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