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Saint Nicholas parade
Amsterdam welcoming Saint Nicholas
Anything that Nederland has made for children's sake in is very appreciated … and when its come to Saint Nicholas, the city seems like new born. Since 1934 November 22 the parade started, and is still on and very important. The parade became an important city event organized by a special foundation, the security is very high, as its an event for kids and also adults, they are very careful, so countless policemen, firemen and municipality workers contribute to the celebrations.
The famous and very beloved Saint Nicholas arrives to Amsterdam in a ship, and once he lands, a white horse rides him through all the city in a festive parade, where more than 300000 children greet him. It's getting so crowdy because everyone wants to say HI to mister Christmas:) Usually he is surrounded by no less than 500 Black Peter servants, 10 marching bands and hundreds of festive marchers. The parade culminates with the mayor of Amsterdam welcoming Saint Nicholas.
There are many legends and stories about the Saint Nicolas, one of the origin tales goes, that that Saint Nicholas lives in Spain. In the middle of October, Nicholas leaves Spain, and after one month arrives to Amsterdam, before stopping in few provincials each year different. There is also tradition going on, that Saint Nicolas arrival begins also a festive shopping time in the Netherlands, which lasts until 5th of December, when is the eve of Saint Nicholas Day.
As he rides a horse while being in the city, the kids put before going to bed a carrot in their shoe, meant as a food for the horse of Saint Nicholas. So sweet isn't it? So the Black Peter climb the houses on ropes and get unnoticed inside the Amsterdam houses through the chimney on the roof, collects the carrots and leaves a surprise present for kids, it all belongs to the tradition! Inside they find a little funny poem, written by himself Saint Nicholas, describing the person receiving the gift.