Saint Nicholas


Binnenstad 0
3512 JC Utrecht
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The annual Saint Nicholas festivities are about as Dutch as you can get, and run from late November until early December. The main character is Saint Nicholas himself: an old man with a long white beard, a red cloak and bishop's mitre, based on the original Saint Nicholas of Myra. Saint Nicholas rides atop a white horse, and brings gifts to the people at home through the chimney with assistance from his helpers (the ‘Petes’).

The festivities commence in mid-November with the arrival of Saint Nicholas, and culminate on 5 December with an evening of gift-giving (called pakjesavond) which is usually celebrated indoors. During this time, the shops are full of decorations and the streets smell of freshly-baked ginger nuts and the traditional Dutch speculaas spiced biscuits. Many events are held in Utrecht during the few weeks of Saint Nicholas – click here for a full overview.


  • Wednesday the 5th of December 2018