The tradition of Santa Claus and his helpers with their faces painted black wearing Afro wigs has delivered a racism debate in Holland.
Colourful celebrations have taken over the streets of Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix abdicated after 33 years.
As Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands ends her 33-year reign and abdicates in favour of her son a look at the monarchies of Europe.
A former SS officer is due to appear in court in Germany later today, where he stands accused of murdering a Dutch resistance fighter at least 70 years ago.
Siert Bruins, 92, could face a life sentence if found guilty of the murder of Aldert Klaas Dijkema in September 1944.
The trial is a landmark case in Germany as Bruins is the last alleged Nazi criminal to be detained.
Another former SS officer, Heinrich Boere, began a life sentence in December 2011 for murdering three Dutch civilians during World War II.
With a signature on a parchment of abdication and a kiss for her son, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands brought to an end her thirty three year rule - to the cheers of thousands of her people.
That son, now King Willem-Alexander, ushered in a new era and ushered his young family onto the palace balcony to even louder applause.
ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports:
The new king of the Netherlands Willhem-Alexander, his wife Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix, who abdicated today, have appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam and waved to the crowds.
Willem-Alexander becomes king of the Netherlands as his mother Beatrix abdicates.
The city of Amsterdam is preparing for the swearing in of a new King today, as Queen Beatrix will officially abdicate from the throne.
Yesterday the Queen thanked the Dutch people in a final address before her abdication and urged them to support her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.