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Sinterklaаs 2021

One of the most beloved traditional characters of the Christmas season in the Netherlands

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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).

Sinterklaas or Saint Nicholas is an older man with a long grey beard, a huge red hat, and an important book with the names of all the good children. He rides a horse named "Slecht Weer Vandaag", which literally means "Bad Weather Today", and has a helper – Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) – often portrayed by a man who colored his face in black and wears 17th-century clothes, usually in green color. The character of the helper is a central one, however, contested nowadays due to its apparent hint to unequal racial relations. During this night, ​children who behaved well throughout the year get presents from Sinterklaas and his helpers. Many parades and marches of Sinterklaas are also organized in the streets of Dutch cities and villages, meaning nothing less than the start of the Christmas season! Sinterklaas Arrival Parade in Amsterdam is one of the largest and most impressive events.

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