Several Sinterklaas arrival events cancelled across the Netherlands
It may not yet even be autumn yet, but many municipalities are already looking forward to the Sinterklaas celebrations that typically begin in mid-November - and a number have made the decision to cancel arrival events (intochten) due to the coronavirus.
Coronavirus and the festive season
The days are getting shorter and cooler, and pepernoten are already on sale in supermarkets across the Netherlands - winter is approaching, which means several people are looking towards 2020’s festive season, and attempting to plan what it will look like amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A number of Christmas markets have already been cancelled in Germany as a result of the virus, and here in the Netherlands, municipalities are reworking the traditional celebrations for the most iconic Dutch holiday - Sinterklaas! Sadly, because of the coronavirus, a number of Dutch municipalities have cancelled their Sinterklaas intochten this year.
Sinterklaas intochten in the Netherlands
There are currently no national guidelines in place for the upcoming events, but the municipalities of Maastricht, The Hague and Eindhoven, among others, have taken action and decided to cancel their own events. Mayors in the regions of Gooi and Vecht have also cancelled their intochten.
However, plans have been made to keep the magic and spirit alive with online versions of the event. Alternatively, in Almelo, Sinterklaas will be driven around in an open-top car, and will not stop to greet any children. Amsterdam is investigating options for a smaller event, by possibly limiting audience numbers, and in The Hague, instead of being one large event, they are hoping to host a number of small activities across the city, and attendees will have to book a time slot and reserve a spot.
The official national intocht is set to take place in on November 14. No announcements have been made in regards to whether that event will be going forward, where it will take place, or how it will look this year taking into account the coronavirus measures set by the Dutch government.