Yesterday, Sinterklaas arrived in Hilversum and because my curiosity was getting the better of me… I had to go along and find out what all the fuss was about!
If you don’t know who/what Sinterklaas is… start with last year’s post about my first Sinterklaas experience: Mijn eerste Sinterklaas (as I already did a lot of explaining there… and I don’t like repeating myself unless I’m drunk!)
Intocht Sinterklaas in Hilversum – Zaterdag 14 November, Oude Haven
First, all the Zwarte Pieten arrived…
There were tons of them, more than 100 I’d guess.
Traditionally they hand out pepernoten, but I heard one little boy ask a Zwarte Piet “Mag ik pepernoten?” (May I have some pepernoten?) and the response was “Nee, ik ben een gezond Piet. Ik heb alleen ballons of mandarijntjes”. (No, I’m a healthy Piet, I only have balloons or mandarins.) He opted for a balloon 😉
Some Piets went traditional though…
Then there was lots of music and dancing…
Before Sinterklaas arrived on this steam boat from Spain, along with this faithful horse Schimmel.
(The horse’s actual name is Amerigo, but many Dutch people refer to him as Schimmel – the type of horse. Schimmel also means mold/fungus so prepare yourself for lame jokes like “There’s Sinterklaas with his schimmel between his legs.” Hawhawhaw.)
The crowds were huge and we weren’t early enough to get a prime spot, so I don’t have a photo of the boat. Dammit.
The Dutchie and I did get a fair few of the big man himself though 🙂
His entrance was followed by more music and dancing, before Sinterklaas made his procession around town.
A lovely time was had by all and I’m glad to have experienced this tradition first hand. Though I must say: now I’ve seen a Sinterklaas Intocht (arrival/entrance), I don’t really have to go again. It’s definitely just for kids.
So now the only thing left to do is leave my shoe out for the next 3 weeks and see what happens 😉