Have you been good or naughty this year? Because Sinterklaas is coming! Well, not for me probably, as I`m a bit too old for it. But I still think back every year with great memories of my childhood. So what or who is Sinterklaas?
Sinterklaas is a traditional holiday figure we celebrate in Belgium, as do they in the Netherlands and countries with Dutch roots like Suriname. He comes on Saint Nicolas Eve (5 December) in the Netherlands, however here in Belgium he comes the morning of 6th December. This day celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of Amsterdam, children and sailors.
Sinterklaas brings candy and toys for the children that were good during the year. He does this with the help of his helpers: the ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Petes). Pete has to climb through chimneys to deliver his gifts, that`s why he`s black from all the soot. Sinterklaas himself rides a white-grey horse and goes from house to house to deliver the toys. But he does it in a special way, he rides the rooftops!
In Belgium we put our shoes out in front of the fireplace the night of 5th December, to find presents in the morning. I remember the anticipation and the sleepless nights before the big day. Going to bed, hoping Sinterklaas would bring whatever toy you asked for that year! And in the morning the excitement of finding presents and lots of candy. I think it`s a great Holiday, especially for little kids, they love it!
- Sinterklaas wears a red cape and mitre. And he carries a big book with all the names of the kids that been good or naughty the past year.
- Black Pete usually carries a bag filled with candy to give to the kids who have been good. He also carries a ‘roe’ which is a chimney sweep`s broom used to spank naughty kids.
- Sinterklaas lives in Spain
- Typical candy are chocolate figurines, letter shaped cookies, marzipan figures, mandarin oranges, Guimaves (which is a candy of sugar, similar to marshmallow),… and much more! All VERY good 🙂