Netherlands Culture and Traditions
Every year about three weeks before December 5th, Sinterklaas and his band of helpers arrive in the Netherlands from Spain by steamboat. The arrival (intocht) is shown live on television. For the next three weeks Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Piet helpers tour the Netherlands. Children can put their shoe near the fireplace, and might find some candy or a little present in the morning. Then on December 5th, Sinterklaas’ birthday, children get presents. The next day, he leaves for Spain. This event is linked to the story of the bishop of Myra.
The Queen’s Day Market
April 27th is Koningsdag (King’s Day) and is the birthday of King Willem Alexander. This day is a public holiday. Traditionally citizens sell goods on the street on KIng’s Day which is why the streets turn into a giant flea markets.
Eating oliebollen – deep-fried donuts – on New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Evening the people in The Netherlands traditonally serve Oliebollen. Oliebollen is a traditional dish served in The Netherlands as well as in Belgium. In the English language they are known as “Dutch Doughnuts” or “Dutchies”. The Oliebollen are usually served with powder sugar.