Sinterklaas celebrations are ‘back to normal’, survey shows

This year's Sinterklaas procession in Amsterdam was by boat. Photo:
This year’s Sinterklaas procession in Amsterdam was by boat. Photo:

Almost half of Dutch are planning to celebrate Sinterklaas this year in some shape or form, a survey among some 1,000 people has shown.

Last year only 35% said they would celebrate the traditional exchange of presents, poems and ingenious surprises, but this year things are ‘back to normal’, Arjan Kuiper of, which commissioned the survey, told RTL Nieuws.

But although it looks as if coronavirus is taking a backseat, it still influences the way people organise the festivities, the survey showed.

Some 4% said they would still celebrate Sinterklaas and Christmas online while 35%, compared to 43% in 2019, said they would invite relatives.

Some 10% of the people who said they would not celebrate Sinterklaas or Christmas said coronavirus was the reason.

‘People want to have get-togethers,’ Kuiper said. ‘The fact that the government wants to be lenient and allow more than four people to visit for the seasons’ celebrations is an acknowledgement of that,’ he said.

Another survey, by current affairs programme EenVandaag, showed four in ten people would not exclude unvaccinated family members from the celebrations but that most would ask them to take a test beforehand.

Presents this year are more expensive ‘perhaps because of being cooped up inside so much’, Kuiper said. People are spending an average of €133 on Sinterklaas presents, compared with €115 last year, the survey showed.

Ten things you need to know to celebrate Sinterklaas

Most respondents were optimistic about receiving online goods on time but Kuiper urged people to take delays into account and order well ahead.

‘You don’t want everything to be delivered between Black Friday and December 5. It’s not just the usual busy time for deliveries, transport problems could also mean not everything is in stock,’ he said.

The three weeks of festivities kicked off on Saturday and will run until December 5.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation