The arrival of Sinterklaas in Groningen was attended by some 45,000 people and there were no protests about the inclusion of Zwarte Piet in the parade, Nos television said on Saturday.
Even though nobody had applied for permission to demonstrate, the council set aside part of the Vismarkt for protests, Nos said. This year there has been intense discussion about the character of Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’ helpers who are played by white people in black-face make-up.
In Amsterdam around 100 people took part in a Free Piet demonstration outside the former stock exchange.
The Amsterdam Sinterklaas parade takes place on Sunday after protestors failed in their efforts to have it banned because of the Zwarte Piet controversy. In the capital, Zwarte Piet will be without his gold earrings and will have different coloured lipstick.
The arrival of St Nicholas is always shown live on television.
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