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Amsterdam Sinterklaas Procession
Magic of Christmas
Everyone, not only children, love Christmas. People are waiting for this full of traditions and various celebrations time. Inseparable to Christmas traditions is Saint Nicolas, which differs in various countries, but his main role is always the same- to bring presents. Even though Christmas is in the late December, in most countries preparations start much earlier, like in Netherlands for example. The Sinterklass comes to Amsterdam at the end of November.
The Netherland's tale says that the Saint Nicolas lives somewhere in Spain and already in October starts his trip on a steamboat to the Netherlands, which takes him about a month to reach the destination. Every year he starts his travel through Netherlands from the different provincial city and then arriving to Amsterdam.
When Saint Nicholas comes to town, children puts carrots to their shoes, which are for the Saint Nicolas horses. Presents are delivered by the Black Peter servants, who collect carrots for the horses. The tale says that the servants climb the houses on ropes and get into the houses unnoticeable through the chimney on the roof. It is also a tradition that the beautifully wrapped gift has also a short poem which describes the person receiving the gift.
Every years since1934 a great parade is organized to celebrate the Saint Nicolas coming to Amsterdam. The Saint Nicolas arrives to Netherlands on a ship and afterwards ride on a white horse in festive parade through the city center.
Children and adults greet him and his entourage, since he is usually surrounded by about 500 Black Peter servants, 10 marching bands and hundreds of festive marchers. Accordingly to the tradition, Saint Nicolas who stays in the town for a week is than more important than any civic authority. This unique festival this year takes place on the 18th of November on Amsterdam's streets, so if you already want to feel the magic of Christmas, you should not miss the celebration.