It is now december, it is now very cold, christmas lights are up, shops are busy this time around, trees are very well lighted, christmas markets are on, parades welcoming christmas are well underway, christmas cards are almost out... but here, in the netherlands, december means sinterklass and christmas.
Friday, 14 December 2007
Anyway, i know this is late news. as sinterklass was almost a couple of weeks back. but here's just to share, on the dutch tradition.
Every eve of 5th of december, children look forward to opening their gifts. no, not quite christmas, but yes, its Sinterklass. Sinterklass or Saint Nicolaas, is a tradition in the Netherlands (and certain parts of Europe) where kids will get to unwrap their surprises from the sint (like santa claus). the sint arrives the kids get 2 bites at the annual presents! lucky them!
Sinterklass traditionally arrives from spain, by a steamboat. he wears a red long robe and with a tall hat. a little bit more religious than santa claus. he will visit everyone with parades welcoming him and his helpers zwart piet (black piet). zwart piet will throw tiny round cookies to the children.
And what they normally do is, kids will put carrots or apples in their shoe near their chimney (should they have one), or in the living room for zwarte piet to take. . they will then place presents for the kids in return. its really nice to learn of other tradition.
Our friend Mush writes well on siterklass (you'd probably have to scroll down a bit). you can either read her take on it here or click here, to learn more on sinterklass.
Aidan brought home some presents from school and they made him a hat as well. piet's hat. we would certainly want aidan to learn and respect other traditon and cultures. and its really nice to see kids happy smiling away, and parents creating memories for them to remember by.