Home   Calendar   Holidays   the Netherlands   St Nicholas' Day
Flag for Netherlands

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 Piete. 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
2010MonDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2011TueDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2012ThuDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2013FriDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2014SatDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2015SunDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2016TueDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2017WedDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2018ThuDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2019FriDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance
2020SunDec 6St Nicholas' DayObservance

You might also like

Look Up for Shooting Stars!

Look Up for Shooting Stars!

The Leonid meteor shower is active now and peaks on Nov 17/18. Use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map to see when and where to best see these shooting stars. more

Commuters and tourists in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward 1 hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. more

Calendar with 12 months

12 Months of the Year

The 12 months of the year are linked to the Moon's orbit around Earth. Why are there 12 months? What do the month names mean? more