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Many Dutch emigrants go to great lengths to keep their best-loved traditions, such as the Sinterklaas celebration, well and truly alive. Yet whilst you can always stock up on your favourite Sinterklaas products, including pepernoten, chocolate letters and taai taai, via online Dutch supermarket, Holland at Home, nothing quite beats attending the official arrival of Sinterklaas, together with your children. Fortunately, these days you need no longer return to the Netherlands in order to make this happen, as many foreign towns and cities now organise their very own Sinterklaas event.
Celebrating Sinterklaas abroad
You could be forgiven for thinking that Sinterklaas is completely unheard of outside of the Netherlands, Belgium and the German North Rhine-Westphalia, but nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed the towns and cities of many other countries, both inside and outside of Europe, put on their own Sinterklaasintocht (the colourful parade marking the official annual arrival of Sinterklaas) or other festive events. In France the arrival of Sinterklaas is officially marked in Alsace, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Lorraine, and you can enjoy a variety of fun Sinterklaas celebrations in Paris and Cannes. The Sint also makes a welcome appearance in Spanish and Italian cities, including Valladolid and Bari where Saint Nicholas is the patron saint, as well as in Trieste, Udine, Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino, where children receive a gift from San Nicolò on 6th December.
And Sinterklaas is not just celebrated in predominantly Catholic countries and regions either. England, for example, holds an annual St Nicholas Festival in the beautiful cathedral city of Canterbury (for more information refer to the St Nicholas Festival website), whilst a number of American cities celebrate Sinterklaas in style too, including New York, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Fredericksburg and St. Louis.
Sinterklaas: (almost) all over the world
Want to know where and when you can enjoy fun Sinterklaas festivities abroad? Then visit the Saint Nicholas Center website and click your country of residence for more information.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.