Sinterklaas Eve Celebration 2022

HOLLAND, Mich., November 11, 2022 – Sinterklaas will be coming to the Holland Kerstmarkt on Sinterklaas Eve, Friday, December 2, 2022. Tulip Time will be bringing Sinterklaas and his helpers to downtown Holland to celebrate Dutch Christmas with treats, paper lanterns, and pictures with Sinterklaas and his helpers, the Piets. This event is free to all families.

Children will be able to pick up their free lanterns at the Holland Civic Center Place before Sinterklaas leads a processional ending at the Kerstmarkt, where he will be available for photos with families.

The order of events is:

6:00 pm – children can pick up their lanterns at the Civic Center

6:20 pm – Sinterklaas arrival announced

6:30 pm – Sinterklaas processional

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm – photos with Sinterklaas in the warming hut

The origin of the Dutch tradition:

Sinterklaas was a Catholic Bishop from Spain who had a heart for the poor. He traveled Europe every year on his white horse, with his helpers to visit children in need. He often arrived in the Netherlands in early December and would come by land or sea.

Children would leave their wooden shoes out on the windowsill and stuff the insides full of hay or carrots for Sinterklaas’ horse. The horse would eat the hay and, for the well-behaved children, Sinterklaas would leave pepernoten (a Dutch treat) or pieces of gold in the shoe for the children to find in the morning. Ill-behaved children were taken away by Sinterklaas’ helper, Piet.

Sinterklaas Day is still celebrated all over the Netherlands with large parades and hundreds of Piets. Oranges are often handed out to symbolize the gold Sinterklaas would leave in children’s shoes.