On Saturday, November 12th, Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands. By steamboat he came all the way from Spain. The day after, we saw him, his horse Amerigo, and about 500 Piets arrive in Amsterdam by smaller boats.
During these three weeks we sang many Sinterklaas songs, ate chocolate letters and pepernoten, put our shoes out to receive some small presents with poems, threw parties with and without the presence of Sinterklaas and the Piets, the Messy Piet messed up the kids’ classrooms (but left behind a present), we watched the Sinterklaas journaal every day, worrying whether they would finally find ‘our’ presents in time. Sinterklaas has also visited public libraries, hospitals, community centers, homes for disabled children, children in refugee centers, and also elderly homes. As you can see, we have all been extremely busy.
Today, December 5th, Sinterklaas celebrates his birthday. First he came to visit the school of our children by fire truck. All pupils performed the welcome dance they have been rehearsing for 3 weeks, sang a lot of songs, played fun games, and -of course- received a (small) present.
After three weeks the festivities are concluded with Pakjesavond (Present Eve). Usually just after dinner suddenly the door bell rings, and the children find a bag full of bigger presents. Or ‘Hiding Piet’ has hidden them throughout the house, and the children have to hunt for their presents..
Tomorrow he flies per helicopter back to his boat to return to Spain. You can see him leave from Museumplein at 3:15pm.
We are all very excited what tonight will bring….