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Sanikolas Arrived on Bonaire This Past Weekend!

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Culture, Events, Music & Performances

Arrival of Sanikolas November 2022

Sanikolas arrived in style this past Saturday!

Sanikolas is finally on Bonaire after arriving Saturday morning on Bonaire’s pier in Kralendijk, all the way from Spain! There was much anticipation by locals and visitors, especially by Bonaire’s kids, as the long-awaited Sanikolas (St. Nicholas in English and Sinterklaas in Dutch) and his helpers, Zwarte Piet, were due to arrive.

Saturday morning, locals and visitors gathered in Wilhelmina Plaza, where they awaited his boat’s arrival. 

One of the excited kids was Luk Hofman. Luk and his parents arrived early to ensure they didn’t miss the grand entrance.  He was dressed to impress and was all smiles. The enthusiasm of the crowds and many smiling faces made for a beautiful morning on Bonaire.


Arriving by boat.

The traditional arrival of Sanikolas and his Zwarte Piet is by boat. This morning, a tugboat and smaller boats came close to shore as everyone crowded along the ocean to try and catch the first glimpse of Sanikolas.

Finally, the boats docked and the Piets jumped onto the dock with enthusiastic moves and dances, performing to the beat of a local band.  After an energetic performance, Sanikolas made his way down the dock to meet with everyone.
Sanikolas arriving by boat in November 2022
Zwarte Piets dancing on the pier by Tanya Deen
The tradition states that Sanikolas and the Zwarte Piets will spend the coming weeks visiting the children of Bonaire. On December 5th, the evening before he returns to Spain, kids put their shoes in a visible place. If they have been nice, Sanikolas will leave presents and candy in their shoes on his special day.

But what if you’ve been naughty?  Then you are crammed in one of the Piet’s sacks and carried to Spain, where you will become a Zwarte Piet!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider)

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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