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Sinterklaas ~ Our Traditional Dutch Holiday Explained in a Poem

December 5, 2015

Today, all Dutch people celebrate a traditional Dutch Holiday: Sinterklaas. A holiday accompanied by much confusion from the expats living in Holland. Suddenly a bishop on a white horse greets you on the corner of every street, while his helpers trow candy in your face. Supermarkets in all the country are collecting shoes of children filled with carrots or drawings. Adults spend their evenings hiding in their bedrooms or attics, secretly crafting special surprise packages and writing poems. When Sinterklaas travels our country, we’re all mad here. Today I tried to explain this madness by writing a poem. As writing poems are a traditional thing to do on this holiday, this seemed the most suitable way to express the Sinterklaas fever we’re all experiencing today.


Today is a holiday for the kids of our land
Who will get a bag full of toys from each brand
They first have to sing for the whole city to hear
Before Sinterklaas even thinks to come near
Then suddenly someone will knock on the door
And leave a big bag full of gifts on the floor
Sometimes Sinterklaas will even stay for a while
But mostly there’s only the gifts in a pile
We’ll drink chocolate milk and we’ll eat special sweets
‘Speculaas’ and ‘pepernoten’ are our traditional treats.

Tomorrow all children will wave Sint goodbye
And perhaps wipe a tear or two from their eye
Their shoes will stay empty for yet one more year
And will transform back into their everyday wear
The magical bishop will sail back to Spain
And our crazy little country will turn normal again

I wish all the Dutch people a day full of joy
And a sweet thoughtful poem attached to a toy
I hope that a magical evening will await
Enjoy our tradition only we celebrate
For our country may be tiny and small
But Sinterklaas is a huge holiday for all!

Pepernoten (9a)

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