Today Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands… He is the one who gives all Dutch children presents on the evening of December 5th. It’s our version of Christmas and it is one of my favourite holidays 🙂
The tradition comes from st Nicholas wo gave the poor presents on his birthday, Dec 6th, and I believe the good man lived in what’s now Turkey, but the current Dutch little ones believe he lives in Spain.
There he prepares all year for the fest in November and December, aided by his loyal helper Piet (Pete?) who is black as the night, due to his sneaking into the houses through the chimney to get the presents inside. Threats are that if you’re not good one year, he will put you in his big bag and take you with him to Spain, something that actually sounds pretty appealing, but nevertheless, kids still shudder in awe when the Saint and Piet are anywhere near.
Here’s a picture (not by me) of his arrival in our lovely city of Utrecht. We went to see that with the children today, and had a blast.
One ultra-cool thing about Sinterklaas is that he lets you put your shoe by the chimney or the front door in the time when he’s in the country and if you’re a good kid he puts small presents and candy in it while you sleep. I have to admit, I had a small peek at our front door and look!!!!! I LOVE that man, even if he’s, like, 700 years old.
And guess what, when we were in town welcoming our hero I picked up something for my kit….and I’d LOVE to show it to you all, but alas, the girl in thew shop put all this lovely pink paper around it…..
So that’ll have to wait…:-p