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St Nicholas' Eve/Sinterklaas in the Netherlands

December 5 is St. Nicholas’ Eve in the Netherlands, a time of gift-giving and parties. It is the day before St. Nicholas’ Day but the big celebrations happen on December 5.

Saint Nicholas riding through the streets of Dordrecht, in the western part of the Netherlands.
Saint Nicholas riding through the streets of Dordrecht, in the western part of the Netherlands.
©iStockphoto.com/TonyTaylorStock

Celebrate Saint Nicholas’ Eve

St. Nicholas (also known as Sinterklaas) celebrations include family gatherings, exchanging presents and treats, and festive songs dedicated to the saint. Children leave out clogs or shoes, hoping for Sinterklaas to fill them with presents. At this time of the year, St. Nicholas is seen with his helper, Zwarte Piete, in shopping centers, schools and hospitals throughout the Netherlands.

Public Life

St. Nicholas’ Eve is not an official public holiday in the Netherlands. However, many businesses dedicated to Sinterklaas are busy during this time of the year.

About Saint Nicholas’ Eve

St. Nicholas’ Eve and Day both commemorate the life of St. Nicholas, a Christian saint who is popular among children because of his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The legendary figure of St. Nicholas is derived from Nicholas of Myra who officiated as a bishop in 4th century Greece.

St Nicholas' Eve/Sinterklaas Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
SunDec 52010St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
MonDec 52011St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
WedDec 52012St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
ThuDec 52013St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
FriDec 52014St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
SatDec 52015St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
MonDec 52016St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
TueDec 52017St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
WedDec 52018St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
ThuDec 52019St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance
SatDec 52020St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasObservance

Quick Facts

St Nicholas’ Eve honors a Christian saint who is associated with gift-giving. It is a festive celebration in the Netherlands on December 5.

St Nicholas' Eve/Sinterklaas 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

St Nicholas' Eve/Sinterklaas 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
SinterklaasavondDutch
St Nicholas' Eve/SinterklaasEnglish
NikolausabendGerman

List of dates for other years

Related holiday

Other holidays in December 2016 in the Netherlands

United Nation Holidays on December 5, 2016

Fun Holiday on December 5, 2016

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