News of: Saturday, November 14 2009,
Sinterklaas, the Dutch counterpart of Santa Claus, will arrive again this Sunday.
The yearly Sinterklaas parade in Amsterdam is the largest in the country.
Sinterklaas is an age-old Dutch tradition, at which children get presents. Sinterklaas is celebrated on December 5, but the tensions and expectations amongst children build up weeks before that date.
In Amsterdam, like in many other places in the Netherlands, Sinterklaas arrives in the country with a large parade. He will be officially welcomed by the mayor of Amsterdam (Job Cohen), and accompanied by hundreds of his helpers, the 'Zwarte Pieten' ('Black Peets').
The parade in Amsterdam is very long, with many floats and it attracts thousands of children and their (grand) parents. The Zwarte Pieten will give pepernoten (sweets) to children.
There will be 640 Zwarte Pieten, who will have 5,000 kilogram of pepernoten to hand out.
Route in Amsterdam:
10.30 am: Sinterklaas starts with his boat on the river Amstel, near Amstel train station. Then he goes through Nieuwe Herengracht and Schippersgracht to the Scheepvaartmuseum.
12.00 am: Arrival at Scheepvaartmuseum and official welcome by mayor Job Cohen.
12.30 pm: Start of the Sinterklaas parade Prins Hendrikkade
1 pm: Via Damrak, Dam (2pm), Rokin, Muntplein, Vijzelstraat and Weteringcircuit to Leidseplein square.
3.30 pm: Sinterklaas greets all Amsterdammers from the balcony of the Stadsschouwburg theatre on Leidseplein.
See the route on this map.
Sinterklaas Parade at Damrak
Child dressed up as Sinterklaas helper