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Sinterklaas and His Helpers Are Finally Here!

by Lou-Ann Jordan Nov 17, 2023

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In Curaçao, November gets our children’s hearts racing as they eagerly, and we do stress, eagerly await the arrival of Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Piet.

Whether naughty or nice, the little ones and the not-so-little flock to see these annual visitors. The wait is over this weekend as Sinterklaas arrives on his white horse at St Anna Bay in downtown Willemstad on Saturday 18 November 2023. The annual Sinterklaas arrival ignites the festive holiday spirit that continues to the year’s end. It’s a wonderful time with a parade, lively music, delicious treats, and happy faces.

Fortunately, the fun doesn’t end with this Saturday. Over the next few weeks, you’ll likely spot the visitors travelling around the island. As customary, Sinterklaas and his helpers will appear at various malls, shopping centres and resorts, with the Zwarte Piet distributing candy and other little treats.   

For those wondering, this folkloric tradition originates from our Dutch heritage. Tradition holds that Sinterklaas sails from Spain accompanied by his Zwarte Piet troop, whom folklore tells are of Moorish origin. On their arrival day, his helpers herald his appearance before the crowd with a spirited dance and shower the kids with candy. Then, over the coming weeks, children will leave their shoes at their front doors, hoping to receive candy or a small toy. With either token, the kids have the assurance they’ve been ‘good’ all year long. 

The Sinterklaas Parade is a superb event the whole family can enjoy! For more information, you can visit the Curaçao website. 

Sources: Curaçao and St. Nicholas Center.