Saint Nicholas to arrive in Antwerp despite corona

6 December is a red letter day for children in many parts of Flanders.  It is the name day of Saint Nicholas and the day many children hope to receive presents, but will the saintly man, who due to his age clearly belongs to risk category take his chances with corona and make the trip this year?

Yes, he will, but, as you can expect, Saint Nicholas’s visit won’t be the same as in previous years, now that corona is casting its long shadow over our daily activities.

Saint Nicholas will arrive from ‘Spain’ on 14 November.  Whether he will have to quarantine isn’t completely sure, but he won’t be welcomed by the children on the quayside this year, because mass gatherings are banned.

Never mind, VRT will televise the arrival of the saintly man on the youth channel Ketnet, so nobody will be too disappointed.

Until 2020 the arrival of Saint Nicholas at the docks in Antwerp had been one of the country’s biggest outdoor events attracting large crowds of children.  Unfortunately, the crowds of children will not be welcome this year. 

Saint Nicholas usually also travels with a considerable party.  There are peters, the captains of his steamship as well as the cousins Conchita and Palomita.  Whether they will joint Saint Nicholas, is, like many things this year, far from clear.

© VRT - Geert Van Hoeymissen

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