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Family Traditions: Celebrating Sinterklaas Dec 5th and 6th

This Dutch tradition goes back to the17th Century.


Traditionally, in the weeks before Sinterklaas  (Santa Claus)  arrival on 5 December, before going to bed, children put their shoes next to the fireplace chimney of the coal-fired stove or fireplace.  They leave the shoe with a carrot or some hay in it and a bowl of water nearby “for Sinterklaas’ horse”, and the children sing a Sinterklaas song. The next day they will find some candy or a small present in their shoes. source


I grew up looking forward to this tradition every year.  I’m so glad I’m doing this with my children.

Start a new tradition and celebrate the horses or reindeer as we call them now. Have your kids put veggies in their shoes and wake to find treats left behind. Get creative and hide those shoes for them to find on December 6th!


  1. shelly peterson on December 10, 2012 at 4:35 am

    What a neat and fun tradition! I have never heard of it before but my son would love this!

  2. rebecca norton on December 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

    i have never heard of this….

  3. Christine Wooldridge on December 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    that is such a great idea

  4. shannon r on December 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Cute and fun tradition!

  5. Amanda on December 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    FUN!!! I can’t wait to do it tomorrow night with the girls!

    • Kristin on December 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      I hope you post pictures!