Sinterklaas in Groningen

Nov 16, 2023 • 7 minuten leestijd

Sinterklaas in Groningen

Before we completely forget! Sinterklaas arrives in Groningen!

This Saturday Sinterklaas will arrive in the City of Groningen and it promises to be another big party. This year, the arrival is again traditionally along the quay of the Praediniussingel, where after a short break he will start his journey through the city, a journey that ends on the Grote Markt. Preparations are in full swing and it promises to be another great party in Groningen!


Sinterklaas the best tradition

For many decades, the Sinterklaas festival was the important tradition in the Netherlands. Many generations of children grow up wondering whether they would receive presents from the Good Saint on the 5th of December. Since Sinterklaas sets foot in the Netherlands in mid-November, many people have been in the Sinterklaas mood and the Sinterklaas news is followed on TV. Even in schools a lot of attention is paid to it.


The Sinterklaas News

Presenter Dieuwertje Blok and reporter Jeroen Kramer present the arrival and this is broadcast on TV.
In addition, there are weekly episodes of the Sinterklaas news in which the arrival of Santa Claus is accompanied by all kinds of adventures. The Pieten play all kinds of pranks and a lot often goes wrong during their journey and in the preparation of the gifts.


The history of Sinterklaas

Few stories are known about Saint Nicholas. After his death the miracle stories arose. The best-known story is about a poor man with three daughters who, thanks to gifts from Saint Nicholas, are able to marry and therefore do not fall into prostitution.[9] He threw the gifts through the open window. This may be where the sprinkles and chocolate coins come from. In later legends it is written that the "strewn material" must have ended up in shoes. Various legends from more than eight hundred years after his death are the basis for Saint Nicholas as the patron saint of children.


A Tradition in Mystery

Placing the shoe is an important and exciting tradition for the children. Small shoe gifts that are suddenly in your shoe the next morning. Children wake up extra early to see if the Pieten have put anything in their shoe!

During the celebration itself, the gifts are often accompanied by poems. This always results in a lot of fun and enjoyment!


Gingerbread or Pepernoten

The gingerbread is a cookie with a long history. The Sinterklaas celebration, different from what we know it today, has been celebrated in the Netherlands since 1600. At that time, gingerbread nuts were still made from dough scraps from the relatively cheap gingerbread and spice cakes. The result: square chunks that tasted like gingerbread.


Where to buy the most tastiest 'pepernoten' in Groningen?

Many supermarkets already have pepernoten in their store a big month before Sinterklaas arrives. However, if you are a gastronomist, you need to go to

Van Delft de Pepernotenfabriek. A shop with more than 50 kinds of pepernoten. Check the link

Many people think that gingerbread and gingerbread are the same. This is not the case. The difference is in the structure and size of the cookie. The old Dutch gingerbread nuts are large, most resemble gingerbread and are made from rye flour and anise.

The gingerbread as we know it today has its origins in the seventeenth century. The gingerbread is small, harder and has a deeper and sharper taste than the gingerbread. In addition, it has the shape of a half ball. The spice nut is made from wheat flour and gingerbread spices. These are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger powder, cardamom and white pepper.

Where to buy presents?

We can advise to buy your presents at small local shops. You can check Lutje Lokaal and register also to get their latest news. You support the small shops and entrepreneurs that makes Groningen more interesting!

Lutje Lokaal is a foundation by and for local entrepreneurs from Groningen!

Did you know that Lutje means 'little' in the Groningen dialect?

They organize "Lutje Local Saturday" twice a year. And they also have a Lutje Lokaal City Guide that you can pick up from any entrepreneur or at the tourist office. Their website also contains mapped routes to discover the city, such as the 'Lutje Typisch Grunn Route' or the 'Lutje What's for dinner Route'. In addition, there is now also the Lutje Local Gift Card. This can be purchased at the Groningen Store VVV in Groninger Forum.


The Exit of Sinterklaas

That is difficult for some children to understand, but that is also part of tradition. Sinterklaas leaves quietly on December 6 and then the children can live there for another year! He then makes way for Santa Claus.

Check the timeline here for the arrival of Sinterklaas in Groningen:

The Timeline for the Arrival of Sinterklaas in Groningen


12.35 – 1.30 pm SAILING ROUTE

Passage of the ships at the Herman Collenius Bridge, then Bocht van Ameland and through the Hoge and Lage der A towards De Hunze Roeiverening 


1.30 pm ARRIVAL De Hunze

Arrival of the ships at K.G.R.V. The Hunze



Departure procession at De Hunze for the entry through the city. This will go via: Praediniussingel Zuidzijde, Emmaplein, Praediniussingel Noordzijde, Museumbrug, Westerkade, Westerhaven, A-straat, A-brug, Brugstraat, Munnikeholm, Gedempte Zuiderdiep, Oosterstraat, Grote Markt


3.15 pm ARRIVAL Grote Markt

Departure procession at De Hunze for the entry through the city


Kids gifts to Sinterklaas

Make a beautiful drawing for Sinterklaas; You can hand this over to the Pieten during the arrival or email a photo to All children who put their name and address on it will receive a personal postcard from Sinterklaas. For example, you can color the drawing at the bottom of this page
Find a quiet spot along the route.


De Pieten

Our Pieten only give candy to children who wish it, there is no scattering
Gluten-free gingerbread nuts are available at the gluten-free Piet, recognizable by a green flag and green vest;
To help the gluten-free Petes recognize the gluten-free children, you can find this here: drawing. The children can print these out and take them with them.

De Koninklijke Vereniging voor Volksvermaken has been organizing the arrival of Sinterklaas in the City of Groningen since 1947.

donderdag, 16 november 2023 | Geschreven door: Diet Daleman