Sinterklaas will still come to Belgium this year, despite lockdown
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Sinterklaas will still come to Belgium this year, despite lockdown

Credit: Belga

The legendary figure of Sinterklaas will still come to Belgium to bring presents to children this year, but people will not be allowed to attend his yearly arrival in Antwerp because of the lockdown measures.

Sinterklaas will arrive in Antwerp by boat on Saturday 14 November around 2:00 PM, but instead of going to welcome him into the country in person like other years, children and their parents will have to watch his traditional arrival live on television, because of the strict measures against gatherings currently in force in Belgium.

“I do not want to let you down, certainly not in a year that has already been so difficult,” he said in a video message (in Dutch).

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The Netherlands and Belgium have a long-standing tradition of celebrating the Winter holiday story of Sinterklaas, who is said to visit children’s homes to bring presents and treats on the evening of 5 (the Netherlands) or 6 (Belgium) December. The figure of Sinterklaas’ helper, Zwarte Piet, has been at the centre of a lot of controversies.

“You have had to miss your friends, the summer camps were different and going to school was a bit strange, no matter how hard the good teachers do their best,” said Sinterklaas. “Even if I have to walk over the rooftops in a spacesuit this year, I will be there!”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times