@ the Dam Amsterdam
Sinterklaas [sɪntər'klaːs] (or more formally Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas; Saint Nicolas in French; Sankt Nikolaus in German) is a traditional winter holiday figure still celebrated today in the Low Countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as French Flanders and Artois. He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including Aruba, Suriname, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Indonesia. He is one of the sources of the holiday figure of
Santa Claus in North America.
Although he is usually referred to as Sinterklaas, he is also known as De Goedheiligman (The Good Holy Man), Sint Nicolaas [sɪnt 'nikolaːs] (Saint Nicholas) or simply as De Sint (The Saint).
He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December) in the Netherlands or on the morning of 6 December in Belgium and Northern France. Originally, the feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas – patron saint of children, sailors, and the city of Amsterdam, among others.
Sint Nicholas being a bishop and this geographical spread make clear that the feast in this form has a Roman Catholic background.