When you hear Ruub Petow speak, his voice immediately rings a bell. But of what? It turns out: Ruub is already wearing 11 year the miter during the Sinterklaas arrival at Scheveningen.

For forty years he has been riding in the Sinterklaas parade through Scheveningen and The Hague. In that time he has ridden many grays and seen many children pass by. Even his own kids couldn’t see who was really hiding under that white beard. Together with Ruub we look back on all those years.

We are invited to his house on the longest avenue in The Hague. In the colorful sitting room by the fireplace, he enthusiastically tells about the secret of a good Sinterklaas. Because 40 years of doing this is not nothing.

In 1982 I thought ‘I think it would be nice to be Sinterklaas for once’, and it still is


Secret of a good Sinterklaas

You know those funny videos of a Sinterklaas who falls off his horse or can’t even really get up. That, according to Ruub, is the secret of a really good Sinterklaas. “A Sinterklaas must be able to ride a horse well”, and Ruub can do that, because he has worked with the mounted police

. “In addition, a good Sinterklaas has the right clothes. Because you won’t get on a horse with a tight underskirt. Some have culottes I myself have a very long split.”

Horse and tram

For years, Sinterklaas has been walking a very long route through Scheveningen and The Hague on his horse , this year the trip will be interrupted by a trip by tram. “Sinterklaas will still receive tram driving lessons beforehand, because despite the fact that it is a short distance, it is of course important that Sinterklaas knows where the brakes are.”

Furthermore, the children’s friend is on horseback this year replay. “There have been a lot of nice horses, Sinterklaas even once sat on a pony because the horse suddenly limped that morning. centimeters smaller may not appeal to everyone, but it still felt clumsy. Replay is a nice horse because it’s a workhorse, so he doesn’t go all out because he finally gets something to do. This is daily fare.”


Ruub is a real family man who loves to see his grandchildren and bonus children. But yes, as the Hague’s Sinterklaas, it is still quite difficult to hide your identity. “When they are 7 or 8 years old, they ‘fall out of their faith’”, says Ruub. “But even though they sometimes recognize my voice, sometimes the penny doesn’t drop. There are my bonus children Sem and Dex, who are still super ‘in their faith’. Sem heard my voice while watching Sinterklaas on television and said the same to his mother: ‘I hear Ruub’. Yet he kept looking and no further questions arose. Sinterklaas exists, so is the conclusion for those children.”

Last time

This is the 75st Sinterklaas arrival in The Hague, for the 74 year-old Ruub it is the fortieth edition and he still enjoys it every time, but where does it stop on? “I know it will stop at some point, but then I have to find a good successor. As I said before, a good Sinterklaas needs many qualities such as the right posture and especially good horseback riding. The latter is difficult to find.”

For the time being, we can still enjoy Ruub: “It is still a great and very fun challenge to put down ‘de Sint’ every year so well. that it really exists – not only for the ‘believing children’, but certainly also for adults

. Six weeks a year this is and remains the best hobby there is!”

Too much or too little? There are so many social housing units in The Hague 1667224914

1667224914 Photo series: We went to the pre-opening of the Lego store in the center of The Hague )


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