This year Sinterklaas will only be accompanied by so-called Chimney Pieten at his national arrival in Apeldoorn on November 16th. All of Sinterklaas' helpers will have soot marks on their faces, instead of the traditional blackface makeup, NTR announced on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
The national arrival of Sinterklaas will happen in the Noord-Holland municipality of Zaanstad on November 17th this year. Mayor Jan Hamming will welcome the Saint and his helpers in the historic village of Zaandijk, after which Sinterklaas will travel to Zaanse Schans on horseback, NTR announced on Friday.
NTR, responsible for Sinterklaas' arrival in the Netherlands every year, hasn't received any requests from Dutch municipalities to host the event this year, according to a letter the broadcaster sent the Dutch Association of Mayors, NU.nl reports.
Every year the public broadcaster receives requests from various municipalities who want to organize the event. But by March 7th, when the letter was sent, their hadn't been a single one.
Mayor Marga Waanders of Dongeradeel, the police and Public Prosecutor decided to put a stop to a call on Facebook for Friesland residents to try and stop anti-Zwarte Piet activists reaching Dokkum, where Sinterklaas will make his national arrival on Saturday. In an open letter, the Mayor called on everyone coming to see Sinterklaas' arrival to respect each other's opinions.
Sinterklaas, his helpers and everyone going to see him arrive in Dokkum on Saturday are advised to dress warmly and take their raincoats. The weather is expected to be rainy and cold, Weeronline reports
According to the weather service, maximum temperatures in Dokkum on Saturday will reach no higher than 8 degrees. But due to expected rain and a moderate to strong wind, the ambient temperature may drop to freezing point.
Dokkum is getting ready for Sinterklaas' national arrival on Saturday, including putting up decorations and preparing for an anti-Zwarte Piet protest. The municipality of Dongeradeel, which includes Dokkum, gave Kick Out Zwarte Piet permission to protest, but is still working out the exact conditions and arrangements, a spokesperson said to Het Parool.
Kick Out Zwarte Piet announced their protest on Facebook. The protest will be preceded by a "March for Civilization", according to the group.
Blackface Zwarte Piet will disappear from Rotterdam's Sinterklaas celebrations. Snic, the organization of the Sinterklaas Parade in the city, discussed the controversial character and how to modernize the children's party with Platform Rutu, which represents various African communities in Rotterdam. They decided to remove any reference to black or other possibly offensive stereotypes, including the word 'Zwarte' from Piet's name, RTV Rijnmond reports.
The roughly 400 Pieten helping Sinterklaas in Amsterdam's celebration this year, will be decked out in brand new, specially designed suits, the foundation responsible for the Amsterdam Sinterklaas celebration, SSIA, announced on Monday night. The new costumes were specifically designed to remove all references to slavery from the controversial character, discovered in examinations of the history behind the Zwarte Piet costume.
As the Netherlands' Sinterklaas celebrations approaches, municipalities are starting to reveal their plans on how they're dealing with controversial character Zwarte Piet. Most of the municipalities are sticking to blackface or dark brown makeup, according to AD's Piet Atlas. Amsterdam and The Hague will have no blackface Piets, with Amsterdam also designing a completely new costume. Utrecht plans mostly Chimney Piets - with faces covered in soot marks - and a few traditional blackface Piets. Rotterdam is keeping its plans secret until the day before the celebration.
For the first time in years, Sinterklaas' national arrival may happen without any protests for or against controversial character Zwarte Piet. The national arrival is happening in Dokkum on November 18th. By Wednesday night the municipality of Dongeradeel, which covers Dokkum, received no applications for demonstrations, AD reports.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was well within his rights when he banned a demonstration against blackface Zwarte Piet in the city in November last year, the municipality's independent complaints committee ruled, RTV Rijnmond reports.
Sinterklaas' national arrival will be in the Friesland city of Dokkum this year. The saint and his entourage is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, November 18th, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dokkum falls under the municipality of Dongeradeel. Mayor Marga Waanders is delighted that Sinterklaas chose Dokkum for his arrival. "Fantastic news for Dokkum and the region Noordoost Fryslân", she said to the broadcaster. "We will warmly welcome Sinterklaas!"
As usual NTR will follow Sinterklaas and his arrival on the Sinterklaasjournaal with presenter Dieuwertje Blok.
The Sinterklaas Foundation in Leiden issued an official aplogy after a commotion erupted due their use of savage-like "cannibal" Zwarte Piet characters in blacface makeup. Sinterklaas was accompanied by a parade of blackface Piet characters dressed in frizzy wigs with bones in and panther skins when he arrived in Leiden on Saturday, Omroep West reports.
The municipality of Geleen approved a protest against blackface Zwarte Piet at the Sinterklaas party in the center of the city on Saturday. This follows a meeting with the initiators of the protest on Thursday, 1Limburg reports.
The activists plan a silent protest at Sinterklaas' arrival in the city on Saturday. They hope to stand close to the Saint's podium. A spokesperson for the municipality told L1 that a spot has been designated for the protesters, but the location will not be announced yet. According to the spokesperson, it is a small group of protesters.
Protest group Kick Out Zwarte Piet is plainning at least three more protests against blackface Zwarte Piet in the coming weeks, the organization announced on Thursday, ANP reports.
The group will hold "peaceful protests" at Sinterklaas' arrival in Leiden on November 19th, in Utrecht on November 26th and Rotterdam on November 207th.
A massive 198 people were arrested in Rotterdam on Saturday for wanting to protest against controversial character Zwarte Piet. Among them were GroenLinks councilor Simion Blom, lawyer Michiel Pestman and activist Jerry Afriyie.
The Sinterklaas arrival committees in the vast majority of Dutch towns and cities decided to keep their Zwarte Pieten traditional with blackface makeup, according to a survey by NOS and regional broadcasters. Only two of the 223 surveyed committees will have no blackface makeup at Sinterklaas' arrival - Amsterdam and Heemstede.
Sinterklaas will be surrounded by only Chimney Pieten during his arrival in Amsterdam this year. While the organizing committee announced earlier this week that 75 percent of the Pieten will be covered in soot instead of traditional makeup, they announced on Friday that not a single Piet will be wearing the blacface makeup when Sinterklaas arrives on November 13th, ANP reports.
At least 75 percent of the Zwarte Piet's in Amsterdam will not be wearing the traditional blacface makeup at Sinterklaas arrival in the city on November 13th, Pam Evenhuis said to NU.nl as spokesperson for the Sinterklaas organizing committee in the Dutch captial.
Anti-blackface group Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) plans to protest in Maassluis during Sinterklaas' national arrival on November 12th. "For us 2016 will be the last year that December has an aftertaste of colonialism, slavery and opression", the group said according to RTL Nieuws.
According to the KOZP, Zwarte Piet in his current form is a racist figure.
The court acquitted anti-Zwarte Piet activist Jerry Afriyie on Thursday. Afriyie was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer during a violent protest in Gouda two years ago
The Public Prosecutor demanded a fine of 1,500 euros against Jeffrey Affriyie for violently resisting arrest during a protest at Sinterklaas' national arrival in Gouda two years ago. The Prosecutor also wants Affriyie to pay 1,250 euros in compensation to a police officer who was injured
Extreme right-wing group NVU is planning a protest at the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Maaslluis on November 12th, the group writes on its website. "I am not ashamed of Zwarte Piet. Stop the kids festival haters", the party writes.
More than 100 Dutch celebrities, including directors, actors and athletes, wrote an open letter to broadcaster NTR on Friday asking that the appearance of controversial Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet be updated to fit a multicultural society, NRC reports based on the letter in its possession.