We have our own Santa Claus, his name is Sinterklaas.
We have our own Santa Claus, his name is Sinterklaas. Reviews
Dec 02, 2007
Wednesday is a nervous day for many children in Holland and in a part of Belgium(Vlaanderen). Than it's the 5th of december. The day they get as much presents as they wish for. Sinterklaas and his 'zwarte pieten'( black men with colorfull clothing) will bring it to them in a big bag together with candy's. It's look quite the same as Santa Claus, but there are some differents. Our Sinterklaas arrives 3 weeks before the 5th of december together with his many 'zwarte pieten' on a steamboat and with all the presents from Spain. Every year he arrives in a different city in Holland and go on shore, this year it was 'Kampen'. That's a city in the province Overijssel. Many children waiting then to see him and singing all kinds of Sinterklaas songs. As soon as he is on shore, he goes further by a white/grey horse. His 'zwarte pieten' will walk beside him or over the rooftops.
From the day he arrives, children can put a shoe next to the stove at home, just before they go to bed. They put a list with the presents they wish in their shoe and sing some Sinterklaas songs. Simular to Christmas songs. When the children are in bed sleeping, Sinterklaas will come together with his 'zwarte piet' over the rooftop and go through the chimney to collect the presents lists and leave some candy in their shoe. (Chocolat, Taai Taai and pepernoten ( the last 2 are real dutch sweet cookies)) And than, on the 5th of december it's present day. Simular to christmas morning.
But now about the history of Sinterklaas. In the 4th century there was a bisshop named "Saint Nicholas" in a turkish town Myra. The legend says that he saved his village from starvation by giving them food and drinks. He also brought 3 children back to live, and gave gifts and bridal dowry to poor girls who were to get married. Some say that he died on the 6th of december in the year 343. In the year 1087 his mortal remains were moved to Bari in Italy.
It's not clear why he, by dutch tradition, comes from Spain. Perhaps it's to do with the fact that "Saint Nicholas" the patron was of the seamen in Spain. And in the 17th century the dutch were very well known for its shipping. Maybe by having contact with the spanish seamen, the dutch tradition begun. This also explains why Sinterklaas get's assistance by zwarte pieten, in that time the 'Moor' ruled over some parts of Spain. An other and more popular explaintion about the zwarte pieten is, that the assistance of Sinterklaas always has to go through the chimney and doesn't wash himself afterwards.
His legendary gifts and bridal dowry to poor girls who were to get married has lead to the tradition of giving presents to children on the night before he died, that's 5 december, it's now a national feast day.
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