Today, on the evening of 5 December, Sinterklaasavond or Pakjesavond is celebrated all over the country. An evening where families get together for dinner and celebrate Sinterklaas.
On Sinterklaasavond every house is visited by Sinterklaas who brings gifts.
The presents usually come in the famous "zaak van Sinterklaas" (Sinterklaas sack). Here the families are helped by a neighbor or relative, who tries to be piet by knocking and knocking on the door, the children get excited and run to receive the Sinterklaas sack full of presents.
What do you give at Sinterklaas?
On this day you can give anything, but the most typical gifts are chocolate letters and toys for the little ones. In former years this was a celebration for children only, but nowadays adults also receive presents.
When the children have grown up and no longer believe in Sinterklaas, the families play a surpriseavond. It is something like secret santa or secret friend, where you don't know who is giving you the present. The gift is often accompanied by a poem in which people pretend to be Sinterklaas or Piet.Typical Sinterklaas sweets and biscuits
Since the arrival of Sinterklaas in November, this celebration is accompanied by delicious sweets. The most famous is the chocolate letter (chocolate letter), which can be found everywhere.
Other sweets include pepernoten (made of rye flour, honey, and aniseed), kruidnoten (made of wheat flour and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger powder, cardamom, and white pepper), speculaas (made of spices called speculaaskruiden) or taai taai (made of rye flour, spices, and aniseed).
Bye Bye Sinterklaas
Tomorrow the whole country bids farewell to Sinterklaas who every 6th of December returns to Spain. His farewell is decorated by people in parades where adults and children thank him for the gifts.
The farewell of Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas and his helpers depart on the steamship back to Spain.