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 2019 the official entry will be Saturday, November 16, in Apeldoorn.
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.