Christmas in Holland
Sinter Klaas arrives in Holland via boat from Spain every year along with his companion, Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) and children leave out clogs or other shoes to be filled with presents, along with oats or carrots for his white horse.
The Feast of Saint Nicholas also takes place on 5 December (Saint Nicholas’ Eve) in Holland, which is when most people exchange their gifts. Christmas itself is celebrated over two days – the first on ‘Eerste Kerstdag' (First Christmas Day) on 25 December and 'Tweede Kerstdag' on 26 December. This means that Christmas in Holland is still very traditional and this is reflected in the Christmas market at Albert Cuypmarkt.
Christmas Food & Drink
You will be tempted by a range of treats as you wander through the Amsterdam Christmas market. There are lots of delicacies eaten only around Christmastime such as Kerstkrans (a baked almond ring), Speculaa (spiced cookies) and Kerststol (a fruity bread loaf). Bischopswijn (Bishop’s Wine) is traditionally drunk, and is a tempting blend of red wine, cinnamon and oranges – perfect to keep you warm as you enjoy the market.
With over 300 stalls, there will be plenty of chances to find the perfect gift for someone. Choose from confectionery and other tasty treats, whilst there are many stalls offering handmade clothing, toys and other handicrafts. The Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) district is a world-famous shopping area where you will enjoy shopping in the boutiques and shops for the perfect Christmas gifts.