Sorry for not having written these last couple of days, but I have been so busy. Anyway, last Monday, December 5, was a national holiday here in Holland. That explains the topic: Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is quite similar to Santa Claus, but of course, this festivity has its own story, candies, songs etc. I think this is a really cool tradition and it's always fun to celebrate this day with family and friends. We all have hot coco, chocolate letters (the first letter of your name made from chocolate...YUMMY!), pepernoten (a typical candy of Sinterklaas) and of course, PRESENTS!!! :) This year Sinterklaas gave me a really nice shawl, Christmas decorations, a bra, stockings and earrings :) Thanks Sinterklaas! :)
I thought it would be cool to explain to you what Sinterklaas is all about with the help of some pictures...pictures say more than words...well, in this case it does.
So, first off, let me introduce you to Sinterklaas himself :)
Sinterklaas is originally from Turkey, but lives in Spain now with all of his Zwarte Pieten (you can compare Zwarte Pieten with Santa's Elfs), they just look different...see below! Sinterklaas comes to Holland with his boat. All the children are waiting at the harbour for Sinterklaas to come.
There are different kinds of Zwarte Pieten. You have Clumsy Zwarte Piet, Gymnastic Zwarte Piet, Glass Zwarte Piet and many others.
Zwarte Piet climbs through the chimney and leaves presents in the shoes of the children. The children need to leave one shoe in front of the chimney, otherwise they will not receive any presents.
Sinterklaas goes from house to house on his horse: Amerigo. The children leave a carrot, some water and a sugar cube next to their shoe for Amerigo.
This is Amerigo:
Taai taai poppen, pepernoten, chcolade letters, marsepein, schuim, banketstaaf: these kind of Sinterklaas candies are eaten throughout the month November and December.
Looks delicious, right?! I can tell you that it is! Every year I ask myself why these kind of sweets aren't produced year-round? I know I would be a really good customer LOL!
So, that's about it. Of course, there are many more things concerning this holiday, but I just wanted to share the basics. Do you think this is a cool tradition? Does your country have similar festivities?
I would love to hear them!