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St Nicholas' Day in the Netherlands

December 5 and 6 are Sinterklaas/St. Nicholas’ Eve and Day in the Netherlands, when Saint Nicholas, also known as Sinterklaas, visits children and brings them presents. In the Netherlands, the main celebrations take place on December 5, rather than December 6.

Is St Nicholas' Day a Public Holiday?

St Nicholas' Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Presents from Sinterklaas, or St.Nicholas, for the kids.

©iStockphoto.com/Sean Locke

Celebrate Saint Nicholas’ Day

Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands take place on December 5 and usually wind down on December 6, when St. Nicholas departs. In some places, St. Nicholas may still make an public appearances with his helper, Zwarte Piet. Children are visited in schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. Many shops are filled with Sinterklaas trinkets, decorations, gifts and toys. Special songs are sung to honor St. Nicholas.

Public Life

St. Nicholas’ Day 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’ Day

The day commemorates 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.

About St Nicholas' Day in other countries

Read more about St Nicholas' Day.

St Nicholas' Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2016TueDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2017WedDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2018ThuDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2019FriDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2020SunDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2021MonDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2022TueDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2023WedDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2024FriDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2025SatDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance

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