Christmas Day is a public holiday in Suriname every 25 December. The Christmas season itself traditionally starts a few weeks earlier with Saint Nicholas Day.
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In Suriname, Saint Nicholas’ Day is as big or bigger a holiday as Christmas Day. On 5 December, Saint Nicholas arrives and takes away cookies and milk left out for him, leaving gifts and candy in their place. The gifts are found on the morning of 6 December next to the kids’ shoes.
While Saint Nicolas’ Day stems from Suriname’s Dutch past, with a few modifications, Christmas Eve and Day are celebrated more like in the United States.
Christmas trees, gift exchanges, family feasts, church services, and freely wandering from house to house to visit friends, family, and neighbours are all a part of the holiday.