Saint Nicolas arrives safely in Holland

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Children in the Netherlands can expect a small gift if they put their shoe in front of the fireplace this evening as Saint Nicolas has arrived safely in the country.

Every year, the Dutch celebrate the arrival by steamboat of 'Sinterklaas' assisted by several 'Black Peters'. This year, thousands of children and their parents waited for his boat on the quayside in Dordrecht near Rotterdam. They passed the time singing traditional Saint Nicolas songs.

The holy man was welcomed to the city by Mayor Arno Brok. The popular saint’s arrival and his parade by horse through the streets of Dordrecht was televised live to the nation.

The saint traditionally arrives a few weeks ahead of his birthday on 6 December. His birthday is celebrated with presents and rhymes on the evening before his birthday. In the next few weeks, children will put their shoe in front of the fireplace a number of times hoping to find them filled with sweets and gifts in the morning.

His arrival has even become a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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