Sinterklaas Comes to Texel

by Monica Maas

Monica Maas, Sinterklaas Parade
Courtesy of Monica Maas
In November, we have a nice Sinterklaas arrival here on our island, Texel. The boat comes directly over the sea from Spain! The mayor, fully decorated, welcomes the Sint, and, of course, there are lots of young children and their parents. Sint walks among the children and shakes hands.

After an hour, Sinterklaas goes in a taxi to our village, Den Burg. There he makes a tour on his white horse, followed by the local brass band. There are about fifteen Piets, walking and jumping around and giving pepernoten to the children.

Monica Maas, Shoes

That evening, all the children put out their shoe near the stove. Then they sing Sint songs. Some put a drawing, a letter, a wish list, or something for the horse in the shoe. And the next morning there may be a little present or some sweets.

Almost all Dutch schools celebrate the feast on December 5. The "real" Sint Nicolaas and some Piets, who carry the big bags or baskets with treats, visit first the small ones. Then everyone gets a present from Sint and some sweet words. The children sing the special Sint-songs and, after just one hour, go home to wait for the evening excitement.

When children are eight years-old, they will know the real story about Sinterklaas and then they have to make a funny surprise and a little poem for one of the children in the class.

By Monica Maas, an artist who lives on the island of Texel and celebrates Sinterklaas with her husband Henk and children Maarten, Aletta, and Vibeke. She illustrates picture books and has delightful cards—some even feature Sinterklaas.

back to top