News of: Thursday, November 15 2012,
Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus, will arrive in Amsterdam again this Sunday.
The yearly Sinterklaas parade in Amsterdam is the largest world-wide (say the organizers).
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 (Eberhard van der Laan), and accompanied by hundreds of his helpers, the 'Zwarte Pieten' ('Black Peets').
This year, the mayor will sing along with a special Amsterdam Sinterklaas song.
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 (traditionally, they throw them around).
There will be hundreds of Zwarte Pieten, who will have thousands of kilograms of pepernoten to hand out.
Route in Amsterdam:
10.45 am: Sinterklaas starts with his boat tour on the river Amstel, to the Scheepvaartmuseum.
12.00 am: Arrival at Scheepvaartmuseum and official welcome by the mayor of Amsterdam.
12.30 pm: Start of the Sinterklaas parade Prins Hendrikkade
13.15 pm: Near Sint Nicolaas Church (opposite the Central Station)
13.30 pm: Arrival at Dam Square. Via Damrak, Dam, Rokin, Muntplein, Rembrandtplein, Utrechtsestraat and Weteringcircuit to Leidseplein square.
15.30 pm: Arrival at Leidseplein square
4.15 pm: Sinterklaas greets all Amsterdam children from the balcony of the Stadsschouwburg theatre on Leidseplein.
See the route on this map (May take some time to load!).
Sinterklaas Parade at Damrak
Child dressed up as Sinterklaas helper