St Nicholas arrives early in Holland with his gifts, in November. He is dressed in Bishop's robes and journeys in a boat with his helper who is called Black Peter and who wears Spanish clothes. It is said that the pair live most of the year preparing lists of presents and writing every child's behavior in a very large book. Many people go to Amsterdam docks to greet him. He mounts a snow horse and rides through the streets in a great parade, amid many festivities.
December 5th is Sinterklaas Eve or Sinterklass Eve, and presents are given and received.
Farmers in Holland blow long horns at sunset each evening during the Christmas period. The horns are blown over water wells which makes the sound extremely loud. This is done to announce the coming of Christmas.
All Dutch children know that Sinterklaas or Sinterklass lived in Spain, where he spends his time recording the behavior of all the children in his little red book, while Piet stocks up on the presents.
Christmas Day is a religious time, and the day is spent with visits to Church. In the afternoon, people sit around the tree, sing carols and tell stories.