Saint Nicholas Traditions in Holiday Parks!

St. Nicholas Day is held on December the 5th or 6th and commemorates St. Nicholas, a 4th century bishop and patron saint of cities, children, sailors who has been widely known for is generous nature. The reformation has been a huge turn for Protestant Europe and St. Nicholas has almost been forgotten but fortunately, his memory and the traditions have been kept alive in The Netherlands, in the form of Sinterklaas.

Here, tradition has it, that St. Nicholas arrives on horseback dressed in a red robe with a helper named Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) who helps him give out tasty treats, sweets and presents to children who have been good and lumps of coal and a stick to the ones who have been bad. 

If you are thinking about spending time away but still keeping up with this whimsical tradition, here are a few ideas for great holiday parks and how the region these are situated in celebrate Saint Nicholas! Oh and yes, there are many suggestions for baked goods and cookies to bake during this time, because those are highly important! 

 

Traditions in The Netherlands & Things to do in a holiday home during Saint Nicholas 

Often, people host Sinterklaas parties on the 5th of December, or on St. Nicholas’ Eve. Here, treasure hunt games are played with and by children, speckled with poems and riddles which offer up clues to the whereabouts of the treasure. You can do this while on holiday, in a vacation park with your family, spending the night of the 5th together and having fun finding the hidden clues and the small presents left by Sinterklaas. 

As a preparation for this event, you can also bake special biscuits and sweets togethers, this way offering another layer of gifts to your family: that of tradition. 

Teach your children how to create the crisp, perfect speculaas cookies, pepernoten and kruidnuten. Another wonderful idea to recreate is buying or baking a large chocolate letter, which represents your name.  

It is also highly important to leave your shoes out for Sinterklaas, by the fireplace or by the door, in order for him to be able to leave a little present for every single member of the family! 

To get a true Dutch experience, we have three wonderful park recommendations: 

Hof van Zeeland

This is absolutely perfect for anyone who would like to experience the Zeeland region in peace and quiet, making it the ideal hide away for families who would like to spend the holidays away from the hustle and bustle. 

Bergvliet Villa’s

A gorgeous environment, a modern gem in the middle of nature, this park will truly satisfy every need of seclusion in a beautiful setting. Surrounded by woods, it offers the kind of relaxation many of us aspire to, and the opportunity to focus on what’s most important: your family. 

Waterdorp Burdaard

The Frisian Burdaard is characterized by peace, coziness and hospitality. The park is a favorite among vacation park lovers even during the winter, thanks to its prime location close to many touristic attractions. The village is also very much alive and bustling with water tourism due to ships and boats sailing through on the regular. 

Traditions in Belgium & Things to do in a holiday home during Saint Nicholas  

Saint Nicholas traditions differ a little bit from country to country and region to region, but the main showstopper stays the same everywhere: Saint Nicholas visits good children and offers them gifts for being well-behaved all trough the year. It is wholesome, family fun and partaking in it from a vacation park is very easy. 

If you will be staying in Belgium for the period, you and your entire family can come together and create traditional Sinterklaas treats such as gingerbread, chocolate and 'mokjes' (cookies made in the shapes of letters and sing songs together about Sinterklaas. 

Vallée Les Etoiles

The Vallée Les Etoiles holiday park is the ideal setting for such an event. It is a true Winter Wonderland in the middle of The Ardennes region, giving the effect of a magical, secluded place where Saint Nicholas visits your family and brings gifts to everyone (even your pets). The bungalows are cozy and even have fireplaces where everyone can showcase their shoes to make it easy for Saint Nicholas to leave presents for you! 

 

Traditions in Germany & Things to do in a holiday home during Saint Nicholas  

In the Northern parts of Germany, Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a smaller scale and many children partake in the tradition of putting out a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) in the front of the door on the night of the 5th of December. In the morning, they excitedly run to see what kind of gifts, presents and sweets Sankt Nikolaus has left them. Obviously, if children behaved well, they will get everything they wished for, but if not, they will find a stick (eine Rute) in their boots instead. 

In Bavarion folklore, Nicholas often gets portrayed as being accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht who has the job of asking children if they have been saying their prayers. It is also traditional for a Nicholas impersonator to visit children at school or their homes and ask them how they have behaved during the year, offering presents based on how they behaved. 

Grafschaft Bentheim

Visit Grafschaft Benthaim holiday park, stay for a while and arrange a night of baking traditional German Saint Nicholas bites with your children, there a lot to choose from, all easy to make and very tasty indeed: St. Nikolastag Nusskuchen (German St. Nicholas Day Nut Cake), Nikolausschnitten (German Saint Nicholas Dainties), Schokoladekugeln (German and Austrian Chocolate Balls). 

Don’t forget to leave your shoes out and wake up together on the 6th of December, checking what Saint Nick and his helper has left for the family. 

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