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December 5th

Nottingham UK
Level Contributor
43 posts
3 reviews
December 5th

My husband, myself and our 2 children (aged 9 and 14) will be in Amsterdam from December 3rd (Saturday) to 5th (Monday.

Have read somewhere that December 5th is the day Dutch people exchange Christmas presents. Does that mean it is a public holiday, and everywhere will be shut?

Any advice on what we should aim to do. I have in mind a canal trip, Anne Frank house, and one or 2 museums, plus just browsing and wandering.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
63,221 posts
229 reviews
1. Re: December 5th

Hi Clare,

Yes, that evening Dutch people celebrate 'Sinterklaas' (St. Nicholas) which is related to Santa Claus. See other posts in the forum about some links.

No, it is not a public holiday (and never has been), partly because the celebration is really for the evening. All things should be open as usual.

Have a nice stay, and do let the kids share a bit in the Sinterklaas tradition which is wonderful even for those (> 5-something years) who know that Santa Claus is NOT living in Lapland and Sinterklaas and his black Peters are NOT coming from Spain...


<Erik> & [Sandya]

Eastbourne, New...
Level Contributor
520 posts
15 reviews
2. Re: December 5th

I found this explanation of the whole thing which may help. No doubt on the 5th you will see Sinter Klass and his Zwate Pieten about town


Hoofddorp, The...
Level Contributor
1,393 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: December 5th

Hi there.

You might find out shops closed somewhat earlier that monday (say around 17.00 hrs), as many people want to be home early for preparations of Sinterklaas evening festivities. But it will not be a public holiday......

For the kids, you might wanna check out here:


It is in dutch, but has links to various activities, centered by age and neighbourhood in the left yellow column.