Stories from Sinterklaas Celebrations abroad

When we were having our Sinterklaas party in the Get in Touch Group, stories came up from various spouses about familiar Sinterklaas traditions in their home country (or especially home town)

Elsewhere, Sinterklaas is likewise celebrated on 5th or 6th of December, but also in other places on the 31st of December or 1st of January. Besides specific rituals, there seem also some familiarities between the different kinds of celebrating this children’s feast.

Three of our Get in Touch spouses have sent in their interesting info and  lively warm experiences with Sinterklaas (or St. Basil) back home.

Great memories .. enjoy!



In our country everybody celebrates New Year (not in religious context) on 31 Dec. People are excited, they buy lots of food, presents, visit each other; restaurants are full at that day, girls rush to beauty salons :),  etc.

When I was a kid I loved this event. We used to participate in celebration, where Santa and his assistant girl entertain us. If a kid dances or tells Santa a poem he would get a present. Presents were amazing with special chocolate, waffles, candies etc. I’ll never forget their taste!

People like to dress nice on that day; they call each other by phone to congratulate. Some companies give a bonus salary to employees, and deliver presents to their kids.


Sinterklaas in Netherlands is very similar to Sinterklaas in Moldova. In Moldova, Sinterklaas is called Moș Nicolae (eng. Mosh Nicolaye).

Children are waiting for Mos Nicolae on 5th of December in the evening, but on 6th of December it is celebrated in the church as Saint Nicolae (religious name for Moș Nicolae).

There is a service, and usually the priest is telling people about life and facts, which Saint Nicolas has done during his life. Parents tell their children that Moș Nicolae is not coming to naughty children, and in order to get some presents they have to be kind and listen their parents.

Children find the presents in their shoes which they had put close to the chimney. When I was a child , I usually got from Moș Nicolae sweets, in our days there was a variety of presents. It is considered more as a holiday for children.

Our version about Sinterklaas is, that he was born in Patara, Turkey. He was helping people who were poor, giving them gifts when they were in need. He was fighting for religion and he is protector of sailors.

161214 Elena (in) avatar ZJf4M10uFROM KORINA KOUTSIOTA (GREECE)

In Greece we celebrate St.Basil’s day on 1st of January.

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great  was the Greek bishop of  Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).

In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labour.He is considered a saint by the traditions of both Eastern and western Christianity.

In Greek tradition, he brings gifts to children every January 1 (St Basil’s Day) — unlike other traditions where Father Christmas arrives either on December 6 (Saint Nicolas Day) or on Christmas Eve (December 24).

It is traditional on St Basil’s Day to serve vasilopita, a rich bread baked with a coin inside. It is customary on his feast day to visit the homes of friends and relatives, to sing New Year’s Carols, and to set an extra place at the table for Saint Basil.

Basil, being born into a wealthy family, gave away all his possessions to the poor, the underprivileged, those in need, and children.

A similar story exists for another Greek bishop, Saint Nicolas of Myra. Over the centuries the two legends have blended together, though the Western Santa Claus remains associated with Nicholas, while the Eastern “Santa” is identified with Basil.

IMG_5874Our GiT Family after having celebrated the Dutch version of Sinterklaas, with little gifts in handmade wrappings and lovely personal rhymes

10 online sites to buy/sell/exchange second-hand items in Eindhoven

Second Hand OnlineAccording to Wikipedia “Until the mid 19th century, second hand clothing was an important way of acquiring clothing. Only through industrialization, mass production and increasing income, was the general public able to purchase new, rather than second-hand, clothing.

During Europe’s colonial days second-hand garments where exported to the colonies and locally, charity shops catering for the poor sprang up. Since the 2nd World War the second-hand clothing trade has grown considerably globally. With environmental issues being more prominent and fashion pollution noted, people learn how to be environmental friendly and second-hand/pre-owned stores have become very fashionable and respectable in Europe and the US”

Nowadays, you can sell/buy not only clothes but almost everything: furniture, toys, books, tools, plants, etc. and online!!.  In Eindhoven there are several facebook groups, where you can sell, exchange, buy or pickup for free any second hand item you can imagine, sometimes you also can find new stuff.

If you want to get rid of the things you don’t use or find just what you need for a very low price check these sites.

1. Te Koop, Gratis, Ruilen.  (Buy, for free, exchange)

2. Ik ZOEK / Ik HEB Eindhoven (Weggeefhandel).  I look for, I have.

3. Commodity Market Eindhoven.

4. Eindhoven mamas. Buy, Swap, Sell, Donate.  (kids stuff)

5. Gratis af te halen. Free items in Eindhoven.

6. Gratis weggeef en zoekhoek Eindhoven

7. Vraag en aanbod Eindhoven e.o (040)

8. Gratis Eindhoven.

9 Marketstuff.  Online second hand shop for students, not only Eindhoven but NL

10. Maarkplaats. This well known site, has new and second-hand items. You can place a bid or purchase directly. (only dutch)


Ps. If you prefer to go to second hand shops in Eindhoven, check our preview post.

GiT Network Partner |2| Daniel Neugebauer

This is the second edition of our ‘GiT Network Partners’

In six questions our partners give their impression of the Get in Touch program and offer some advices to make the life of internationals in Eindhoven happier and easier.

Big Thanks to Daniel!


Daniel Neugebauer

Daniel Neugebauer
Van Abbemuseum

1.  I AM..

Daniel Neugebauer, Hoofd Marketing, Bemiddeling en Fondsenwerving Van Abbemuseum

I hosted a couple of Get in Touch tours through different exhibitions at the museum.


It has always been a very rewarding experience. Open eyes and open minds came together and we  were able to look at art from very different backgrounds and perspectives.


That  the Museum is more frequently used as a tool for communication, expression and expanding one’s mind and seeing the world from a different perspective.


Do you speak artish? 🙂


The zwarte Piet trauma each end of the year seems to get better very slowly.


Art is a language that can bridge between the international and the local. I’ll be happy to keep helping to build these bridges in the future with the group.