Sinterklaas is coming your way

Sinterklaas is back in the Netherlands

Sunday 18 November 2012

sinterklaas.jpgSinterklaas with princess Maxima and her daughters in Roermond. Photo: Novum

An estimated 50,000 people were in the Limburg town of Roermond on Saturday to witness the official arrive of Sinterklaas – marking the start of the three-week countdown to the main Dutch present-giving celebration on December 5.

A further 1.7 million people watched the arrival of the Sint from Spain on television. It was the 61st time the ‘arrival’ of St Nicholas has been a formally-organised event, Nos television said.

This year, there were no reports of any protests about Zwarte Piet, St Nicholas’ controversial black helpers.

Last year, several Surinamese artists were arrested while protesting about the ‘racist elements’ in the Sinterklaas tradition.


Although the official arrival is shown live on television, other cities and towns also organise their own events.

In IJmuiden, a local council-organised Sinterklaas arrival was partly disrupted by the discovery of a body in the water.

Meanwhile, a report by ING economists at the weekend shows a sack of traditional Sinterklaas presents has largely escaped inflation.

Although the retail price index has gone up by 2.9%, dvds have gone down 4.2% in price and books 2%. Sweets are 0.4% cheaper than a year ago. Toys are 1.2% more expensive and perfume has risen 1.7% in price.


Research last week by the Q&A research group showed 20% of households think the government’s austerity measures will have an impact on their Sinterklaas celebrations this year.

The researchers say just under half (49%) of Dutch households plan to celebrate Sinterklaas, continuing the downward trend of the past few years.

Reboot Sinterklaas

Are you planning to celebrate Sinterklaas? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.



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4 Responses to “Sinterklaas is coming your way”

  1. John Gilbert Says:

    Hello, I’ve just read an Amazon ebook called “Bleeding Borderlines” by Jan Harden. Its set partly around Roermond, not somewhere I’m that familiar with. I found both the recent and historical stuff fascinating. Haven’t been able to find out anything about the author who I imagine is using a pen name. As the book has a strong Oz thread running through it I discovered your blog and wondered if you were in fact the author?


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hello John,
    No, I have to disappoint you, I am not the author. I have Dutch parentage and came to Australia with my parents in 1956. I am glad you enjoyed the book.


  3. John Gilbert Says:

    Hello Gerard
    Thought it was a long shot anyhow but reading the book made me curious about Roermond. Your great blog has made me even more interested. I wish my children weren’t all grown up so I could take them over next year to see Sinterklaas arrive. I’m tempted to go anyway! Sounds like your parents were part of the mass migration mentioned in the book that took place after the great flood of the early 50s. Regards John


  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hello John;
    The great flood was in 1954. You are right, many migrated during that period including my parents with six children. The migration was a result of the end of the US generously funded Marshall Plan to help Europe back on its feet. Many decided to seek their luck elsewhere, including my parents.
    However, it wasn’t long when, at least in Holland, things greatly improved and migration from the Netherlands petered out in the mid sixties or so.
    Now, a reverse, many Australians work and live in Holland as well.
    So glad you enjoy reading my blog. It makes me want to go on and write more words.


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