Sinterklaas arrival: parades, festivities cancelled by municipalities

Several municipalities have cancelled their Sinterklaas entry events this year due to coronavirus. Sinterklaas committees are currently seeking alternatives for the festivities. 

Traditionally, Sinterklaas makes his arrival every November by boat from Spain, celebrated with a parade and other festivities. This year, coronavirus has presented challenges in arranging a safe and hygienic procession. You won’t be tossed any loose pepernoten this year.

The municipalities of Eindhoven, Maastricht, Dordrecht, The Hague, and Elburg, among others, have already cancelled traditional arrivals. But this doesn’t mean children are completely safe from a disciplinary trip to Spain — a few municipalities will be continuing with the tradition, with some modifications. 

Alternative arrivals

Some of the alternatives being discussed include a digital arrival, where people can watch Sinterklaas arrive from the comfort of their own homes. Another idea is a drive-through event, which would keep people from gathering in one central area.

Mark Giling, a spokesperson for the Sint & Pietengilde, an organisation for the traditional representation of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, told RTL Nieuws “organisationally you have to be creative. You can divide a room into sections, or set a maximum number of visitors.” 

National entry

Public broadcaster NTR is responsible for the national entry of Sinterklaas. They are still working out details regarding where and how the arrival will take place, or if it will even be possible this year.

“Although hard work is being done on the various scenarios, unfortunately, there is still too little to say about this at this stage. As soon as we can be more concrete about his, we will, of course, let you know. We will therefore have to wait and see,” a spokesperson told RTL.

How do you feel about changes to the Sinterklaas arrival this year? Will you be celebrating? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Eric Bro/Wikimedia Commons

Brin Andrews
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.


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