Christmas Around the Globe

Netherlands and Hungary

Important Dates

In the Netherlands, they celebrate Christmas twice! Yes, they celebrate it on the 25th of December, but they also celebrate Sinterklaas, their gift bearer, on December 5th and 6th, but most of the celebrations happen on December 5th.

In Hungary, they celebrate the 25th of December.

Gift Bearer

In the Netherlands, their gift bearer, Sinterklaas, comes from Madrid, Spain. His helpers, "Zwarte Peiten", also help give out gifts. Sinterklaas dresses in red robes, as do the helpers. Also, he rides a white horse! Sinterklaas and his helpers also make weekly visits, so the children leave their shoes out by the fireplace (or window, it depends) every Saturday until December 5th (Sinterklaas comes the second Saturday of November) and then, his helpers come down the chimney (or through the window if they don't have a chimney), and leave presents or candy in their shoes!

In Hungary, their gift bearer, Mikulas, puts goodies in there shoes, and comes on December 6th.

Gift Bearers

Night Before

In the Netherlands, children receive their presents during the evening. Sinterklaas parties often held then, that evening, they have treasure hunts, played with poems and riddles to find clues.

In Hungary, they decorate their Christmas tree and spend time with family. Sometimes, the parents decorate the tree, without their kids, so it'll be a surprise, then they tell their children an angel brought it!

Day Of

In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas leaves by a steamboat via the entrance of Rotterdam. From there, he goes back to Madrid, Spain.

In Hungary, they spend the day with their family, and go to church (#JEASUS).


In the Netherlands, special biscuits and sweet types of biscuits are made for their celebrations. Blanketletters, made from marzipan or pastry, made in the shape of the first letter of the peoples name at the party. Pepernoot are also ate, and are made from cinnamon and spices in the pastry biscuit mix.

In Hungary, they eat fish and cabbage. They also eat a special kind of poppy bread called Beigli and gingerbread.

Other Traditions

In Hungary, they also go to Midnight Mass, a church service.