A knock comes on the door and a black gloved hand appears to toss candies and pepernoten inside. A large burlap bag, "de zak van Sinterklaas," also appears filled with gifts.At the table, decorated with speculaas and other sweets, guests may find their initial in a chocolate letter at their places.
In mid-November Dutch television broadcasts the official entry into the Netherlands of St.
Nicholas and his helper Zwarte Piet live to the nation.
In the Netherlands, unlike other places, adults as well as children join in the fun.
As the Dutch like an element of surprise, a small gift may be wrapped in a huge box, or it may be hidden and require following clues to discover where it is.
Bakeries are busy making speculaas, molded spice cookies, for the season.
During this time children sing Sinterklaas songs and put their shoes next to the window or door, or, by the fireplace or heater, along with a nice drawing, a wish-list and a carrot or hay, and maybe a saucer of water, for the horse. Nicholas happens by while checking on their behavior, the next morning children may find chocolate coins or initial letter, candy treats, pepernoten, and little gifts in their shoes.
Tangerines are also an important part of the feast—major grocer Albert Heijn sells around 18 million tangerines, in eight varieties, during the week of December 5.
They were first imported in the early 1800s, becoming the "apples of orange" from Spain and came to represent the gold St. The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th, St.
He usually arrives by horseback, but occaisionally he comes by boat, carriage, moped, or helicopter. Nicholas Day, December 6, Sinterklaas goes about the country to determine if the children have been well-behaved.
He and his Zwarte Piet helpers visit children in schools, hospitals, department stores, and even at home.
Coming by steamer from Spain, each year they dock in the harbor of a different city or village.