When well-behaved children awake in the morning, their shoes are filled with nuts, candy, and other surprises.
People believed that Perchta would fly across the sky with evil spirits in the darkest part of winter and try to cut open the stomachs of anybody she met.
Sinterklaas travels by ship from Spain to Amsterdam's harbor every winter.
With him he brings his white horse and a huge sack full of gifts for the children.
Public transport services run on reduced timetables or do not run at all. In the Netherlands, the tradition of holding feasts and lighting special fires in the darkest part of the winter goes back many thousands of years.
These are reflected in the festive and luxury meals served at this time of year and the fireworks and bonfires lit on the evening of December 31 and early hours of January 1.The shoes are filled with hay and carrots for the horse Sinterklaas rides through the streets on St. The children sing a song about how much they hope the cold, wet, foggy weather will not keep Sinterklaas away that night.