On the Saturday following St. Martin’s Day (November 11), Sinterklaas comes by ship from Spain to officially enter the country. Each year he arrives at a different seacoast town or river harbor. Large crowds gather to greet the good saint, who arrives accompanied by many colorful Piets. Dutch National Television broadcasts the festivities so the entire country may share the celebration. This is the official start of Sinterklaas season. Sinterklaas arrives in Amsterdam the next day, Sunday. He then spends the weeks until 5 December (the Eve of Sinterklaas) going about the countryside, visiting homes, schools, and churches, to determine if the children have been good.
In 2021 the official entry will be Saturday, November 13, the city not yet known
Because of the Corona virus, plans are not yet set, though it is hoped to have a more usual arrival this year.
The national official Sinterklaas entry (Intocht) was first televised in 1952 from Amsterdam, shown in this black and white NPS video clip. The first color broadcast was in 1967 in Medemblik.