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Sinterklaas visits the

Mesier Homestead in 2019

Each year, the Wappingers Historical Society celebrates the Dutch custom of Sinterklaas in recognition of the original Dutch owners of the Historic Mesier Homestead in the Village of Wappingers Falls.  We had been looking forward to sharing our program with you in-person, but this year we come to you virtually so that we can all stay safe and healthy for the holidays!


Sinterklaas, also known as Saint Nicholas, is dear to the hearts of Dutch children and would have been celebrated in the Mesier Homestead by both the Brower and Mesier families.

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated annually on December 6th, but in The Netherlands the major celebrations are held on December 5th, St. Nicholas Eve, or Sinterklaasavond.


The feast of Sinterklaas celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children and a kindly man who was very generous to the poor.  Early Dutch settlers brought their holiday traditions with them to New Netherland when they came here from Holland.

Sinterklaas himself was said to have come from Spain, arriving each year in mid November by steamboat to a port. The steamboat anchors, then Sinterklaas disembarks and parades through the streets on his white horse, Amerigo, welcomed by children cheering and singing traditional Sinterklaas songs. In the weeks between his arrival and December 5th (Sinterklaasavond) , Sinterklaas also visits places in the community.  Before going to bed in the evening children put their shoes next to the fireplace or outside the front door in the hopes that Sinterklaas will leave a sweet treat in their shoe. In their shoe, they leave a carrot or some hay and a bowl of water nearby "for Sinterklaas' horse", and the children sing a Sinterklaas song. The next day good children may find some candy or a small present in their shoes; naughty children may find a small sack of salt.


Sinterklaasavond (St. Nicholas eve) is celebrated in the home with stories, games, and the traditional Dutch sweets which are an important part of the festivities. In Holland, it is more common to give presents on Sinterklaas than at Christmas, which is a day to spend with family and attend a church ceremony.

Share in our Virtual Sinterklaas Celebration